Sunday, January 22, 2012

Government Fights to Perpetuate Artificial Bone Marrow Shortage By Banning Donor Compensation

Here are some facts about bone marrow donation:

1. Thousands of Americans die of various blood diseases each year because they cannot find matching bone marrow donors. 

2. Donor compensation could substantially increase the number of people who sign up to be a potential bone marrow match. 

3. Advances in medical technology have made the extraction of the hematopoietic stem cells found in bone marrow essentially as easy as blood donation.

4. Last month a unanimous three-judge panel ruled in favor of 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. The donor group said the application of the National Organ Transplant Act, which includes bone marrow among the "organs" that cannot be sold, violated the equal-protection clause, because there is no rational basis for government to treat donors undergoing apheresis differently from blood or sperm donors.

5. The Justice Department and the National Marrow Donor Program have moved quickly to try to overturn the decision that would allow compensation for bone marrow donors. Reasons? The Justice Department claims that that donor compensation undermines Congress’s clear policy of allowing only voluntary bone marrow donations. The National Marrow Donor Program claims that "a donor system that relies on the human desire to help others is far superior to one that focuses on self-gain."  

MP: So the government and the National Marrow Donor Program want to perpetuate a needless bone marrow shortage and thereby sentence thousands of Americans to a guaranteed death sentence as a direct consequence of the artificial bone marrow shortage.  Just wondering - would the National Marrow Donor Program likewise suggest that donor systems for food, clothing, cars, and shelter, which rely on the human desire to help others, are far superior systems to ones that focus on self-interest and self-gain?    How would your current diet compare, in terms of quantity and quality, to the food available to you if you had to rely on the human desire of wheat farmers in Kansas, cattle ranchers in Texas, and dairy farmers in Wisconsin to help others and supply you with your food?

Question: Are there any material differences between the provision of life-sustaining food products and the provision of life-sustaining bone marrow that would justify allowing market transactions for food but not bone marrow?  If so, what are those differences?

13 Comments:

At 1/22/2012 10:28 PM, Blogger randian said...

The Justice Department claims that that donor compensation undermines Congress’s clear policy of allowing only voluntary bone marrow donations.
How does the receipt of compensation make a donation involuntary?

 
At 1/22/2012 11:37 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

How does the receipt of compensation make a donation involuntary?

Right? What we have here is a fundamental lack of a belief in freedom.

 
At 1/23/2012 1:33 AM, Blogger kmg said...

Just go overseas.

 
At 1/23/2012 7:46 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Question: Are there any material differences between the provision of life-sustaining food products and the provision of life-sustaining bone marrow that would justify allowing market transactions for food but not bone marrow? If so, what are those differences?

Human bone marrow requires a nondestructive means of harvesting a very limited and (for all practical purposes) irreplaceable body resource. Unlike blood, cars, and food.

Where compensation is done, the destitute are left without organs or the care required, much less any significant amount of cash. While compensation was given, it was not voluntary, did not result in the person receiving any medical care to address the removed material, and was nominal compensation at best.

The only valid compensation is no cost, absolute top-tier medical care to treat the lack of the organ or material.

For those that think "more freedom" should be added, such "freedom" will only come as a function of wealth - which is not freedom.

 
At 1/23/2012 7:47 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

So, I guess "self-gain" is only acceptable if you're the recipient of bone marrow.

If one were to donate money, one would get a tax write-off. If one were to donate any part of their body (a much bigger donation than mere money), then that donation cannot be compensated in any way.

I see.

More government wizdumb.

 
At 1/23/2012 7:50 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Blogger kmg said...

Then Customs can make it an issue of perjuring oneself. All while exempt from HIPPA.

Jurisdiction isnt the magical fairy dust that it may have been ages ago.

 
At 1/23/2012 8:08 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " Just go overseas"

I agree... if someone really wants/needs this - then forget the current situation and do what you must for your own situation.

I do not think most civilized countries agree to the idea of selling organs (correct me if I'm wrong)..many 3rd world countries probably do not regulate near as much.

Funny thing is .. you almost never hear of a rich US person going overseas to a 3rd world country for an cash-on-the-barrel, no-standing-in-line organ transplant, eh?

I do not think Obama or his Justice Dept is treating this any different than prior Presidents.

What's changed is the procedure itself and govt is notorious for not keeping up with technology - on a wide variety of issues... just look at SOPA.

 
At 1/23/2012 8:20 AM, Blogger hal said...

People do dangerous jobs for others for money, like logging and mining. Why can't they sell blood or bone marrow for money?

 
At 1/23/2012 8:25 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Why can't they sell blood or bone marrow for money?"

I think that's a question that ought to be debated.

But I also think this particular President did not create this law.

As long as it is a law, the Justice Dept has to defend it no matter who the Prez is.

Congress has the authority to change the law - and IMHO - should - but blaming Obama for what Congress won't do is just more demagoguery ...

and the most important thing is how to get to a better solution and we won't do it by using bomb-throwing rhetoric and using it as a wedge issue in a culture war.

there is a real question here as to whether we are really looking for solutions and working towards them or we are going to use these issues as proxies in a blame game.

 
At 1/23/2012 10:03 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I do not think most civilized countries agree to the idea of selling organs (correct me if I'm wrong)..many 3rd world countries probably do not regulate near as much.

You're wrong. Singapore and Iran are two countries where trade in kidneys is legal. There is no wait list for kidney transplants in Iran. Now, that's civilized.

Unless, of course, a country is not considered civilized in your view unless it's predominantly white and Christian.

There is nothing less civilized than denying people the ability to come to their own private arrangements - especially in issues of life and death.

 
At 1/23/2012 12:01 PM, Blogger randian said...

As long as it is a law, the Justice Dept has to defend it no matter who the Prez is.

Since when? This DoJ is giving amnesty to illegal aliens through a deliberate policy of not defending appeals. They go through the motions getting a judgment to extradite, but when the nearly automatic appeal is made they don't show up.

 
At 1/23/2012 12:10 PM, Blogger randian said...

Unless, of course, a country is not considered civilized in your view unless it's predominantly white and Christian.

Having no prohibitions on compensating organ donors is just about the only thing civilized about Iran.

 
At 1/23/2012 12:24 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

are you saying that ALL organs can be bought and sold in IRan and Singapore?

and you're citing IRan as more enlightened than the G20 nations?

good one!

 

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