This Houston Chronicle article on human eggs highlights how markets can lead to mutually beneficial solutions:
As more older moms look for help getting pregnant, younger women have become increasingly willing to part with their eggs. Some do it to help relatives and friends, or from a sense of altruism, but others openly acknowledge money is a big factor in their decision, prompting critics to worry that they’re helping drive an unregulated market for human tissue.
In 1996, women in federally monitored programs donated eggs just over 3,800 times. That number has risen steadily, to more than 10,000 in 2004, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control has compiled data.
A decade ago, Dr. Joel Brasch, a fertility specialist in the Chicago area, had to work hard to recruit five or 10 young women for his own practice’s donor pool — but not anymore.
The money is seen as compensation for time and trouble. Among other things, donors learn to inject themselves with hormones and, eventually, have a needle inserted through their vaginal wall so eggs can be harvested.
“Everyone does it for the money,” says Dziura, the egg donor in New York. “No one would do that for free — maybe for your sister, but not for a stranger.”
If we can do this for human eggs, why not for kidneys?