Chapter 6.A.1 (or 4.A.1) Competent Organ Donors
While women may sell their ova (e.g., to infertile couples who want to have children) under federal law, Indiana limits payment to out-of-pocket expenses plus $3,000. Ind. Code § 35-46-5-3.
The federal statute, 42 U.S.C § 274e, that prohibits the payment of compensation to donors of kidneys, livers and other organs also applies to donors of bone marrow. The federal government has taken 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 permitted 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.
A recent long-term study indicates that donating a kidney while alive does not pose long-term health risks to the donor. In a study of people who donated kidneys at the University of Minnesota between 1963 and 2007, researchers found that "kidney donors have a normal life span, a health status that is similar to that of the general population, and an excellent quality of life." The donors do not have an increased risk for kidney failure, nor do they have an increased risk of hypertension. Hassan N. Ibrahim, et al., Long-Term Consequences of Kidney Donation, 360 New Eng. J. Med. 459 (2009). In another study of all live kidney donors in the US between 1994 and 2009, researchers found a risk of death for the donor from the donation surgery of 0.03 percent (3.1 deaths per 10,000 donors), and no long-term increase in mortality. Dorry L. Segev., et al., Perioperative Mortality and Long-term Survival Following Live Kidney Donation, 303 JAMA 959 (2010).
Through June 2011, the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act had been adopted in 44 states and the District of Columbia. For updates on the enactment status, click here.
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