Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lawsuit against ban on compensating bone marrow donors moves forward

Compensating Bone Marrow Donors Could Save Lives But the Government Bans It

"Arlington, Va.—Every year, nearly 3,000 Americans die because they cannot find a life-saving bone marrow donor match—a trend that disproportionately impacts minorities.  But on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, cancer patients from across the nation who can’t find a donor match will square off in court against the U.S. Attorney General seeking to strike down part of a federal law that bans anyone from offering even modest compensation to bone marrow donors.  If the cancer patients are successful in their suit, compensation could be offered to those who donate bone marrow, thus attracting more donors and saving more lives.

This video (appears above) explains the life-or-death legal battle:"
"Under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984, giving a college student a scholarship or giving a new homeowner a mortgage payment for donating marrow could land everyone—doctors, nurses, donors and patients—in federal prison for up to five years.  NOTA’s criminal ban violates equal protection because it arbitrarily treats renewable bone marrow like nonrenewable solid organs (such as kidneys) instead of like other renewable or inexhaustible cells (such as blood) for which compensated donation is legal.  Unlike organs such as kidneys, donated bone marrow replenishes itself in just a few weeks after it is donated, leaving the donor whole once again."

HT: Greg Mankiw

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