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Fertility clinic paying $5,000 for human eggs

A fertility clinic has doubled the usual payment for human eggs, raising concerns that the quest for egg donors is becoming a market-driven bidding war.

The move by the clinic at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston also has prompted an ethical debate over whether human eggs are a gift to be given for minimal compensation, or a commodity to be bought and sold."Egg donation? $5,000 a pop? I don't think so," said Art Caplan, the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. "It's a sale."

St. Barnabas placed advertisements seeking donors in several New York area publications last week, offering to pay $5,000 for each donation, which can produce several eggs. That's double the going rate for human eggs, which jumped to $2,500 a few years ago in New York and many other cities.

Officials at the clinic in the New York City suburb said they are only trying to increase the supply of eggs to accommodate infertile couples, who often wait up to a year for a suitable donor.