Bone Marrow Donors Can Be Paid: Court

The ruling overturns a lower court decision barring compensation for all bone marrow donations

Thursday, Dec 1, 2011  |  Updated 2:13 PM PDT
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The lawsuit was filed in the hopes of broadening the pool of existing donors.

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A federal appeals court says some bone marrow donors can be paid, overturning a decades-old law that made such compensation a crime.

In its ruling Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a recent technological breakthrough in donating bone marrow is akin to blood-plasma donation. Therefore, the court ruled, it should be exempt from a law making it a felony to sell human organs for transplants.

The court did say it remains a felony to compensate donors for undergoing the older donation method, which extracts the marrow from the donors' bones.

The ruling overturns a lower court decision barring compensation for all bone marrow donations.

MoreMarrowDonors.org brought the case, seeking to offer donors $3,000 in the form of a scholarship, housing allowance or gift to charity.

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