What's the Latest Development?

California's 9th Circuit of Appeals Court has ruled it is not a federal crime to sell your bone marrow, contesting the argument that selling marrow is akin to selling internal organs such as kidneys because the body regenerates marrow, much like blood. Previously, donating marrow had been outlawed because the procedure was 'painful and risky'. "In the last 20 years, though, medical advances have brought about a less intrusive method by which the life-saving marrow stem cells are harvested..."

What's the Big Idea?

Still, the process requires a lot of time, which is what financial compensation would seek to redress: "Between a physical exam to make sure the donor is healthy enough to give, a series of preparatory injections that encourage marrow creation but can make the subject feel ill, a six-hour or so procedure to actually donate the bone marrow, and a few days' recovery time, being a donor is not an easy job." But even if a market for marrow does develop, only one in 540 registered donors are called on to donate.

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