Friday, June 30, 2006

Protection of Egg Donors Heading for Governor's Desk

Legislation aimed at protecting women who donate eggs for stem cell research in California – except for research financed by CIRM – cleared a state legislative committee and appears headed for the governor's desk.

The measure – SB1260 by Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento – was approved on a 12-0 vote earlier this week. It now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it is likely to be sent on to the Assembly floor.

Ortiz' office issued the following statement:
"'Stem cell research holds great promise for chronic and life-threatening diseases that affect more than 100 million Americans,' Ortiz said. 'We all want biomedical research to move forward, but we must ensure that women who provide eggs for research are fully educated about potential reproductive health risks.'

"SB 1260 ensures that women who are considering donating eggs for stem cell research are fully informed of potential risks and provide written and oral consent before taking fertility or ovarian stimulation drugs and undergoing assisted oocyte production (AOP) procedures. The bill limits, in accordance with the National Academy of Sciences, compensation to only allow reimbursement for direct expenses. It also provides payment for expenses associated with any necessary pre and post-procedure medical care.

"The bill will provide a streamlined set of standards for egg donations and continue state oversight that began in 2003 with SB 322 by Ortiz. Under SB 1260, an advisory committee created by SB 322 will finish making recommendations to the Department of Health Services (DHS) so that DHS may develop stem cell research guidelines for reviewing stem cell research projects."
The Health Services advisory committee has said it "is concerned with the designation of the IRBs (institutional review boards)as regulatory bodies of stem cell research, the breadth of the requirement for provision of medical care for adverse medical consequences of donating oocytes for research purposes, and the broad and ambiguous restrictions on who may be a research oocyte donor," according to the latest legislative analysis of the bill. Sphere: Related Content

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