Money for bone-marrow donors? Company says yes; feds say no

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A D.C. startup company and a Virginia law firm are hoping some Hollywood storytelling will help them win a yearslong legal battle over whether bone-marrow donors can be paid.

The company, Hemeos, recruits potential donors. Under its business model, the donors would be paid and the company would make money by linking donors up with hospitals.

Paying bone-marrow donors was once illegal, but federal courts ruled that compensation could be permitted in most cases. Now, though, the federal government is considering a regulatory change that would again criminalize payments.

The Arlington-based Institute for Justice is a libertarian-leaning public-interest law firm. Institute attorneys say they’ll sue if the rule change goes through. In the meantime, they’ve produced a short movie featuring Hollywood actors, “Everything,” to try to win the public-opinion battle.

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