Flynn v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 12-01-2011
  • Case #: 10-55643
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Judge Kleinfeld for the Court; Circuit Judges Goodwin and Graber
  • Full Text Opinion

Compensation for “hematopoietic stems cells” is not a violation of the National Organ Transplant Act.

On de novo review, the Court determined whether the National Organ Transplant Act ("NOTA") allows payment for donation of “hematopoietic stems cells.” These cells are peripheral blood cells that have not fully matured, but have left the bone marrow cavity and circulate the blood stream. They are significant because they grow into platelets, and white and red blood cells. Before they mature, they can be harvested through a process called apheresis, then donated to patients who need bone marrow transplants. Apheresis is very similar to a blood donation, and significantly simpler than traditional bone marrow transplants. Because of the scarcity of donors, MoreMarrowDonors.org, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the registry of potential donors, is offering to provide scholarships, housing allowances, or charitable contributions to organizations of a donors choosing. NOTA does not allow compensation for bone marrow donations, but the appellant argues that “hematopoietic stem cells” are a subpart of blood, not bone marrow, and thus not subject to the Act. The Court determined the statute does not prohibit compensation for blood, which includes “hematopoietic stem cells.” REVERSED. Judgment is VACATED and the case is REMANDED.

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