Lawsuit Update

I am a founding member of More Marrow Donors. Our lawsuit against the U.S. Attorney General to change the laws regarding bone marrow donations was recently argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and covered in last Sunday’s LA Times.

A tall, blue-eyed blonde with an Ivy League education can command five figures when she sells her eggs to aspiring parents. People who donate sperm or give blood in the name of helping others also may do so for a fee.

But donors of bone marrow, just as naturally replenishable and no longer very painful to extract, risk up to five years in prison if they accept compensation for providing life-saving cells to those stricken with cancer, leukemia or genetic disorders.

More than 3,000 Americans die each year waiting for a suitable marrow donor, say cancer patients and families mounting the first legal challenge to a ban on organ and marrow sales enacted by Congress 27 years ago.

In a case argued before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week, their attorney said that treating inexhaustible marrow cells like kidneys and livers is irrational, unconstitutional and devastating for those waiting for altruistic strangers to come forward and save their sick children’s lives.

“This is a complex case with complex facts. But this appeal couldn’t be simpler,” said Jeff Rowes, the Institute for Justice lawyer representing a nationwide alliance of people calling for modest compensation to attract more marrow donors.

A 1984 law that bans organ sales categorizes bone marrow and its subparts in with vital organs like kidneys and livers. The plaintiffs want the National Organ Transplant Act struck down or amended to allow the promise of $3,000 in scholarships or housing payments to donors as inducements to draw new registrants to the National Marrow Donor Program. … read the entire article

You don’t have to wait on the courts before donating bone marrow. Learn how easy it is to save a life at Be The Match.


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