The Institute for Justice recently launched a terrific case that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of thousands of sick Americans (ironically, Madam Speaker’s health care horror novel will do quite the opposite.)
MoreMarrowDonors.org hopes to increase the number of bone marrow donors by offering donors small scholarships, housing allowances, or gifts to charity. Unfortunately, under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984, marrow – a product the body naturally regenerates, much like blood – is categorized the same as nonrenewable organs. (Personally, I think that’s a foolish prohibition as well – a 2008 study by the Cato Institute gives an excellent explanation of the issue – but I digress.) Compensating a marrow donor is akin to the black-market organ trade, and is prosecuted as such. Much like blood, there are rare marrow types, and shortages often occur – a problem, unfortunately, that disproportionately affects minorities.
The status quo has fallen woefully short of solving this problem, and must be changed. Delayed and denied access to marrow diminishes the quality of life for these patients, and in some cases may even condemn them to an early death.
Check out their excellent video on the lawsuit: