A Slight Victory in the Donor Market

It’s not a secret that there is a severe shortage of organ and tissue donors in the world. Much of this can be attributed to law that prohibit those donating organs or other bodily substance from gaining financially. Thankfully it has been ruled that those donating bone marrow are no longer guilty of a crime when receiving compensation:

The Institute for Justice today announced a major legal victory for cancer patients and their families from across the nation when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declined to seek Supreme Court review of a March 2012 decision of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that compensating most bone- marrow donors is not a crime. This decision will give doctors and their patients a powerful tool in the fight against deadly blood diseases.

“This decision will not only save lives, but also reinforce the principle that doctors and patients should have the freedom to make their own choices when confronted with deadly diseases,” said Jeff Rowes, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice and lead counsel on the case.

Many hold the erroneous idea that organs sold for money are somehow so inferior to those donated that they should not even be accepted. This has created a major shortage because people, being self-interested creatures, desire compensation for giving up their property. Laws barring organ donors from receiving compensation is a direct violation of voluntary association as it prevents those wanting to sell their organs from doing so. These laws have also created a black market for organs, which have lead to stories of individuals waking up in a bathtub full of ice missing their kidneys. Hopefully this ruling will set a precedence and we’ll see the act of receiving compensation for donations become legal.