Government fights court decision that says bone marrow donors may be paid
Blood banks for years have been common sources of cash for the needy, and the brainy and/or beautiful are free to explore what their eggs or sperm might fetch in the marketplace.
But the Obama administration last week asked a San Francisco appeals court to overturn a recent decision that said bone marrow donors can be paid for what their bodies produce.
A unanimous three-judge panel last month ruled for a nonprofit group, MoreMarrowDonors.org, that wants to encourage bone marrow donations by offering $3,000 scholarships, housing allowances or charitable donations to those who are matched with blood disease patients.
Thousands of Americans die of various blood diseases each year because they cannot find matching bone marrow donors, said the organizationís president, Nashville lawyer Shaka Mitchell. Compensation could substantially increase the number of people who sign up to be a potential match, he said.
But the groupís plans ran afoul of the National Organ Transplant Act, which includes bone marrow among the organs and body parts that cannot be sold. Penalties include fines and imprisonment for up to five years.
As reported in the WSJ the patients most hurt are African-American patients who have a complex lineage that makes it difficult to find a match. Caucasian donors find a match about 75% of the time, Hispanics about 50% and AA are at 25%. There are only 7 million people on the donor list and they are disproportionally Caucasian. With the easier means of extraction available today, it is very similar to donating blood and payment might make some more likely to donate. Too many die of leukemia and other cancers that can be helped by a marrow transplant.
Some people have cats and go on to lead perfectly normal lives.
Re: Government fights court decision that says bone marrow donors may be paid
It's not like some poor person trying to sell a kidney to pay bills. Sounds like this could save lives and put some money in some pockets. Possible jail sentence??? Careful Big Brother is watching
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