Bone Marrow Debate Goes National

Bone Marrow Debate Goes National

NY Times, Nov 3 – Is the Ban on Selling Bone Marrow Unconstitutional?

. . . NOTA’s criminal prohibition of donor compensation has now just been challenged in a lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice. On October 28, a group of plaintiffs (including people with deadly blood diseases) sued Attorney General Eric Holder, claiming that the criminalization of compensation violates their equal protection rights. The suit does not challenge the general ban on organ sales but argues that the application of the ban to renewable tissue is arbitrary and irrational: More

Economist, Nov 2 – Save a life and get 5 years in prison

SOME people with blood diseases need bone-marrow transplants. It is sometimes hard to find a matching donor: 1,000 Americans die each year because they cannot find one. Yet it is illegal–and punishable by up to five years in prison–to pay donors for their trouble and discomfort. This is a foolish law. The Institute for Justice, a libertarian group, argues that it is also unconstitutional, and is trying to overturn it, arguing that the: More

US News, Oct 28 – Using Economics to Solve Bone Marrow Transplant Crisis

How does bad economics become bad law? One thing that doesn’t help is when legislators can’t be bothered to read the bills they pass … If they did, maybe we wouldn’t have the situation we do with the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act—which bans people from being paid for donating bone marrow, despite the fact that monetary compensation for blood plasma is common practice, and the bill itself even explicitly says it should not criminalize compensation for “renewable tissue” (like blood and bone marrow, as opposed to things that can’t regenerate like organs). More


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