Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Markets In Everything: Bone Marrow, Finally



MSNBC -- "Certain bone marrow donors could soon be compensated for their life-saving stem cells after federal officials declined to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing a lower court order to become law. At least one agency, MoreMarrowDonors.org, hopes to begin a pilot program offering up to $3,000 in scholarships, housing vouchers or charity donations -- but not cash -- in exchange for matching donations of marrow cells derived from blood. 

“This decision is a total game-changer,” said Jeff Rowes, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which filed the lawsuit three years ago on behalf of cancer victims and others seeking bone marrow matches. “Any donor, any doctor, any patient across the country can use compensation in order to get bone marrow donors.” 

That may be the effect of the decision by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to forgo a high court review of a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that certain kinds of bone marrow donations are exempt from federal rules banning compensation. Under the ruling, donors who provide marrow cells through a process similar to blood donation, called peripheral blood stem cell apheresis, can be compensated because those cells are no longer regarded as organs or organ parts as defined in the National Organ Transplant Act.

About 10,000 people need bone marrow transplants each year, but only about half receive them. The Institute for Justice estimates that about 3,000 die waiting for matches."

See previous CD posts on legalizing bone marrow compensation here and here.  Here's a press release from the Institute for Justice. 

13 Comments:

At 6/27/2012 9:30 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

while this is definitely a good thing, unfortunately, the rationale used in the 9th circuit's opinion was not relevant to any other organs.

the ruling that was because bone marrow can be strained from the blood, it is not an organ and therefore not subject to the organ trading law.

broader notions of your organs being your own property and therefore alienable for compensation were not considered.

it's another nice win for the IofJ though.

i really like a lot of the work they do.

 
At 6/27/2012 9:34 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Morganovich. I hope this could be the first in a series of challenges that eventually get the law overturned, either by a court or by the legislature. DOMA and DADT took a long time, but eventually were overturned. Here's hoping the same thing happens here.

 
At 6/27/2012 1:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Although not nearly enough, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

 
At 6/27/2012 5:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I agree.. but what fascinates me is that we apparently don't have a "grey" market in these things..

You'd think on a worldwide basis that SOME country would essentially look the other way (for money or whatever) and we'd be discussing this like "pot" laws are discussed - as "pot" itself and other illegal drugs, do, in fact, operate as a "market" outside of the law.

 
At 6/27/2012 7:53 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Larry-

It's probably more prevalent than we think. Just not as in the public eye as drug laws.

 
At 6/27/2012 9:58 PM, Blogger randian said...

I don't see how this "changes everything". Somebody whose motivation is pecuniary (as one would expect in stranger donations) will not be impressed by those three options. Having "compensation" that either doesn't go to the donor or has too many strings attached shows that the people involved either have no freaking idea what they're doing or they actually seeking to discourage donors. I would go so far as to say that it will make no statistically measurable difference in marrow availability.

 
At 6/28/2012 12:33 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Thank goodness the IJ's damage was quarantined (pun fully intended).

If anyone else did what the IJ did, they'd be considered a vexatious litigant. That's about what they are and it is a shame that they aren't considered as such.

 
At 6/28/2012 12:57 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Larry-

It's probably more prevalent than we think. Just not as in the public eye as drug laws."

actually, it's clamped down on like you would not believe. i have some direct experience with this. i have a friend whose kidney's failed. we looked at options like going overseas to some place where you can buy one and getting the surgery there. we consulted lawyers on the topic.

they will jail you for it if you ever come home.

your name is on the kidney registry and they know why. if you suddenly drop off and live they will investigate, especially if you go overseas.

unlike going to holland and visiting a prostitute or smoking hash, this crime is still a crime when you come home even if it was legal where you did it.

 
At 6/28/2012 12:59 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

seth-

what utter nonsense.

vexation litigant? for seeking to have your rights upheld and get the governments hands literally out from inside your body?

what a scary little tyrant you are.

 
At 6/28/2012 1:02 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" your name is on the kidney registry and they know why. if you suddenly drop off and live they will investigate, especially if you go overseas."

I'm not surprised to hear the law but I've never heard anyone prosecuted for it...and the public relations aspect would be horrendous.... right?

 
At 6/28/2012 1:50 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

i think you are wrong about that.

google "overseas kidney transplant travel arrests" and have a quick read.

it does happen despite the fact that anyone doing this has nearly 100% chance of getting caught.

 
At 6/28/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

morganovich:

"google "overseas kidney transplant travel arrests" and have a quick read.

it does happen despite the fact that anyone doing this has nearly 100% chance of getting caught.
"

How sad. A choice between dying of kidney failure, or living in jail.

 
At 6/28/2012 3:28 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"and the public relations aspect would be horrendous.... right?"

Public relations? Those who will vote for me will believe the spin. Those who won't, don't matter to me.

 

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