Soon You Could Make Around $3000 Donating Bone Marrow for Transplants

Bone Marrow

Would you give bone marrow?

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 $3000, 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?

Image by Pulmonary Pathology



Last Edited: June 15, 2012 @ 11:44 am
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. I would certainly be more intrigued about donation if $3000 was involved.  I am not sure what is planned, but a good system would be to create a database of donors for free, then only pay when a match was needed.  Then those looking for quick cash would be less likely to make that initial effort.

    • You make a great point. Odds say that it would take several years before someone needed your marrow. Out of hundreds of thousands of current donors, only a few match one person in need. The website I referenced above mentions only paying after the procedure, and then only giving you money in the form of a housing stipend, scholarship (I’m assuming for an education), or a pay-it-forward charitable donation.

  2. Justin Katz says:

    where is the info on this program?

    • Sorry, I should have added that to the post. It’s unclear to me where the money will come from and how exactly someone would be paid. If the marrow.org site is against the practice then they certainly wouldn’t facilitate this. There is a website, http://moremarrowdonors.org/, and they are pioneering the $3000 payment, which looks to come from charitable donations to the site. Visit that site to learn more. Sorry I couldn’t be more clear in the post.

    • laureljane says:

      it s not available yet
       

  3. Doesn’t donation and pay strike you as a contradiction?  If paying for bone marrow helps a dying person, I am all for it! 

    • Donation and pay are contradictory; but history has shown us in all endeavors; individual charity is never, and never will be enough.  Which is why we have welfare programs (That people pay for), and social security (Again, that people pay for).

  4. ChrisBennor says:

    Frankly, I think we should considering compensating for organ donation. Let’s say someone tragically loses a family member in a car accident with plenty of vital organs. They haven’t really thought about donating and in their grief, go with the easy answer of no. But if they were to get $5000, might help with the myriad of expenses that come at this time. It’s not selling – authorities still decides who gets the heart, but there is some motivation for them to donate besides altruism.

  5. Heck I’d do it once for $3000 & buy new carpet for my house. I’m healthy why not.

  6. You could ensure a good donor pool by requiring x amount of usable blood donations before being considered for this type of pay. Maybe that would help ensure the donors are healthy.