The absence of comprehensive federal oversight of human biotechnologies in the United States continues to stimulate academic discourse on the relative merits of European-style regulatory agencies as compared to the current, decentralized approach. Many American bioethicists support the latter, maintaining that the key features of federalism—policy experimentation and moral pluralism—allows for the efficient regulation of these complex and contentious issues. This paper examines state-level regulation of oocyte donation to assess claims regarding the superiority of this decentralized regulatory approach. Further, this paper introduces an additional element to this examination of state law, which concerns the degree to which the health and safety of key participants is addressed at the state level. This inquiry assesses one facet of fertility medicine and biomedical research law, oocyte donation, an analysis that can be used to inform the broader discourse regarding the regulation of human biotechnologies and bioethical issues by the states.
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Vol. 33 • No. 1