Thursday, November 18, 2010

More on compensation for marrow donors

Representatives of the major world marrow donation clearinghouses come out against compensation for donors:

Remuneration of hematopoietic stem cell donors: principles and perspective of the World Marrow Donor Association by Michael Boo, Suzanna M. van Walraven*, Jeremy Chapman, Brian Lindberg, Alexander H. Schmidt, Bronwen E. Shaw, Galen E. Switzer, Edward Yang and Torstein Egeland, Blood, 2010 Oct 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative procedure for life threatening hematological diseases. Donation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) from an unrelated donor, frequently residing in another country, may be the only option for 70% of those in need of unrelated HSCT. To maximize the opportunity to find the best available donor, individual donor registries collaborate internationally. To provide homogeneity of practice among registries, the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) sets standards against which registries are accredited, and provides guidance and regulations concerning unrelated donor safety and care. A basic tenet of the donor registries is that unrelated HSC donation is an altruistic act; non-payment of donors is entrenched in the WMDA standards and in international practice. In the United States, the prohibition against remuneration of donors has recently been challenged. In this document we describe the reasons that the WMDA continues to believe that HSC donors should not be paid due to ethical concerns raised by remuneration, potential to damage the public will to act altruistically, the potential for coercion and exploitation of donors, increased risk to patients, harm to local transplantation programs and international stem cell exchange, and the possibility of benefiting some patients while disadvantaging others."

Previous posts:
Compensating donors: how about bone marrow? (in connection with which see Flynn v. Holder Challenge to the National Organ Transplant Act

Compensation for bone marrow donors: opposing views

HT: Rod Garratt (whose related papers are
One Chance in a Million: Altruism and the Bone Marrow Registry” with Ted Bergstrom and Damien Sheehan-Connor, American Economic Review

Stem Cell Matching for Patients of Mixed Race” with Ted Bergstrom and Damien Sheehan-Connor

(About this latter paper he writes "Ted Bergstrom and I will be presenting this work at a session on The Economics of Blood, Stem Cell and Organ Donation at this year's winter meeting of the American Economic Association in Denver.  If you are interested in attending, the session will take place Jan 08, 2011 10:15 am at the Sheraton, Director's Row H.

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