Friday, December 2, 2011
Federal law, 42 U.S.C § 274e, prohibits the payment of compensation to donors of kidneys, livers and other organs. The ban also applies to donors of bone marrow. The federal government took the position that since the ban on compensation includes bone marrow "or any subpart thereof," payments are not permitted for donations of peripheral blood stem cells, which have become a common substitute for donations of bone marrow.
In Flynn v. Holder, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that just as compensation is permittted for donations of other blood products, so compensation is permitted under federal law for donations of peripheral blood stem cells. In response to the government's argument that peripheral blood stem cell donations pose greater risk than do other donations of blood, the court observed that there are significant risks from egg donation, and the government permits payments to egg donors.(Thanks to Ben Hippen for highlighting the decision.)