In an article in today’s American Medical News our lawsuit challenging the National Organ Transplant Act is discussed. As most readers are aware, the lawsuit seeks to allow our pilot program of compensating people that follow through with bone marrow transplants. Many so-called bio-ethicists worry that people receiving compensation will withhold medical information. Information that would otherwise exclude them from participation in the program.
There are multiple reasons to believe this fear is unwarranted. First, the marrow matching process is highly rigorous and existing standards that identify risk factors would still be in place if our program is allowed to move forward. Practically speaking this means that marrow donors that come forward due to the existence of our program will go through the same screening process of all others.
Second, we do not claim that our system will be a panacea. We do not claim that our program will help identify a donor for every patient in need however we believe that we can significantly increase the number of donors, especially among those with rare marrow types. Unfortunately under current law we cannot even test this idea without incurring heavy penalties. We, and patients like the ones that joined our lawsuit, should have a change to test the idea. To disallow this chance places the status quo (in which people die daily) above human life.