According to the National Marrow Donor Program, the actual bone marrow donation procedure for transplants is not painful, nor does it remove bone.
There is some discomfort that can result from bone marrow donation, but from what I’ve read in the personal accounts of bone marrow donation, there isn’t much pain other than the prick of the needle and a little soreness.
I’ll be honest, the thought of donating marrow used to strike fear in me. Somewhere along the way I picked up that they have to put a needle into your bone and that it was very painful to remove the stuff. Thankfully, that just isn’t true these days with medical advancements. It’s very similar to drawing blood.
Why do I talk about the pain myths about this procedure? Well, because plenty of people sign up to be considered a donor of bone marrow, but when they are asked to actually donate, most people back out.
Some back out due to fear. Because of this, and because of the small percentage of people who are matched, you often hear stories of people who die before they can find a bone marrow donor.
Getting Paid for Bone Marrow Transplant Donation
To help combat this lack of donor enthusiasm, there is an effort to allow people to receive compensation, proposed at $3,000, for donating to a marrow transplant.
I found it odd that currently you cannot make money from bone marrow transplant donation. You can get paid for sperm, eggs, and even for carrying someone else’s baby. But not bone marrow (except I think for research purposes, which some sites have referenced as bringing up to $450).
The reason – bone marrow is listed as an organ in the National Organ Transplant Act, which prevents the sale of organs. That’s about to change it seems, if the U.S. Attorney General and Supreme Court allow it to.
What’s the fear in letting people make money from bone marrow? People at the National Marrow Donor Program say that it would create a bad pool of donors – those that would lie about their health and behaviors. They have some other reasons as well for not wanting this change.
While I wouldn’t suggest you try to make a living donating body parts, I could see this as a way to help someone out and make some extra cash in the process.
As for whether there is something wrong about offering cash for donations (i.e. people should just do it for free). Yes, it would be great if more people gave, but the anecdotal evidence is saying that relying simply on generosity isn’t enough. Is the solution cash? Maybe so.
What’s your take on making money from bone marrow donation?