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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Mass. law slows stem cell research, Harvard scientist says
By Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff
One of Harvard’s best and brashest used a major conference on stem cells to lambaste the policies of a commonwealth that takes huge pride in medical research
Eggan blames a Massachusetts law that forbids researchers from paying women to donate eggs. The law is meant to prevent researchers from exploiting poor women who might be willing to undergo the lengthy and occasionally painful procedures for a cash pay-off. Eggan considers it hypocritical that women can be paid to "donate" eggs for use in fertility treatments, but not for stem cell research that, many scientists believe, holds enormous promise for combating degenerative diseases, cancer, and spinal injuries.
Many stem cell researchers, Daley told the same panel discussion at the conference, believe that paying "market rates" for donated eggs is morally unacceptable. But he indicated that there is more support for the idea that women should be paid something in compensation for undergoing a process that typically takes two months.