The Case for Buying and Selling Bone Marrow

Under a rule proposed by the Obama administration, anyone who pays another person for donating these bone marrow cells would be subject to as much as five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Sally Satel responds:

Locating a marrow donor is often a needle-in-a-haystack affair. The odds that two random individuals will have the same tissue type are less than 1 in 10,000, and the chances are much lower for blacks. Among the precious few potential donors who are matched, nearly half don’t follow through with the actual donation. Too often, patients don’t survive the time it takes to hunt for another donor…

Each year, 2,000 to 3,000 Americans in need of marrow transplants die waiting for a match. Altruism is a virtue, but clearly it is not a dependable motive for marrow donation.

Full piece is worth reading.

Comments (5)

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  1. Erik says:

    First you buy, then you steal, then the black market arises (just like kidneys in New York).

  2. Ken says:

    Whose marrow is it anyway?

  3. Paul says:

    Ken, the answer is obvious. So why should we have to ask for permission to sell it?

  4. Jo says:

    Tye overwhelming majority of people manage their property, allocate their time and resources much better than the government manages itself. People are nowhere near as corrupt and selfish as governments, yet we cling to the idea that government is able to, capable of an interested in protecting us from our baser instincts. If a market is illegal, you should expect a black market.

  5. Buster says:

    Too bad the market is about to be regulated into oblivion. I’ve been hoarding the stuff for years!