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Legal Support for Money for Marrow

By December 2, 2011

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The courts have decided- there is no reason why some stem cell donors should not be financially compensated, reports the New York Times.

This ruling comes after a non- profit group MoreMarrowDonors.org filed a lawsuit against the federal government, in an attempt to entice more donors to join the National Marrow Donor Program list. The group is interested in offering $3000 to donors in the form of housing allowances, scholarships,  or gifts to charity. As a result, they hope that the lives of more patients in need of stem cell transplant, such as leukemia and lymphoma patients,  could be saved by a broader unrelated donor list.

The controversy arises from the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, which allows people to be compensated for blood and the substances in it, but not organs. Previous court actions on this issue stated that since stem cells were a part of bone marrow (an organ), the Act should apply. This most recent ruling, recognizing that about two thirds of all stem cell donations are derived from stem cells circulating in peripheral blood, ruled that this type of donation was unique and could indeed be compensated.

Marrow for Money?

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