Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Government Medical Regulation Could Cost These Girls Their Lives

The three girls pictured in this video have a rare bone marrow disease, Fanconi anemia, which often leads to leukemia. They need bone marrow transplants. Their parents are seeking to encourage people to see if they are matches by rewarding the donors with a $3,000 scholarship. But they could go to jail for up to five years if they carry out their plan. The alternative? Wait, perhaps in vain, for a donor, and watch their little girls die slowly.

The National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984 treats compensation for marrow donors as though it were black-market organ sales. Under NOTA, giving a college student a scholarship or a new homeowner a mortgage payment for donating marrow would land everyone—doctors, nurses, donors and patients—in federal prison for up to five years.

Note the relation to the proposed health care legislation in the Senate. One size fits all regulations intended to reduce the costs of health care will certainly kill more Americans than the present system.

H/T Institute for Justice.


  1. B-Daddy, on the surface, this sounds pretty outrageous. But to be fair, I have to ask from where and in what form the compensation comes.

    The article speaks of being compensated for giving blood. Here in San Diego that usually means cookies, fruit punch and a signed picture from LT or Shawne Merriman (and god bless the Chargers for doing that in their annual blood drive).

    Does money (from somewhere) towards college tuition legally equate to some minor freebies (from a private entity?).

  2. Dean,
    You can legally be compensated with cold hard cash for giving blood as well. The issue here is the ridiculous law that prevents people from being compensated for donating bone marrow. There is no compelling state interest in preventing this behavior, so it why the law to prevent compensation?