Springs man joins fight to allow compensation for bone-marrow donors

Check out the story about the bone marrow lawsuit in today’s Colorado Springs Gazette. Here’s how it begins,

For most people, it wouldn’t matter much whether you called bone marrow an organ, as it’s medically classified, or a bodily fluid, which is what it looks like.

But that distinction is at the heart of a lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles this week by a group that includes a Colorado Springs cancer patient. If they win, they hope to bring more bone marrow donors to the table by being able to compensate them.

Colorado Springs freelance writer Mike Hamel, who is battling lymphoma, is among half a dozen people who want to get bone marrow removed from the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act, which makes it a felony to buy or sell organs. They contend that bone marrow, which can be replenished, belongs in the company of plasma, sperm or eggs, all of which legally can be sold, rather than kidneys, lungs and livers.

They are represented by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, a Libertarian law firm that seeks out Constitutional issues to take on.

The suit was filed against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on the grounds that when it comes to bone marrow, enforcing the 25-year-old law is unconstitutional. Other plaintiffs in the suit are several parents of children in need of bone marrow transplants.

The lawsuit, though, is a means to an end, Hamel said. He and the other plaintiffs have formed a nonprofit, More Marrow Donors, to create a pilot program to make charitable contributions available to donors in hopes of encouraging people to give.

Read more . . .

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