Ever since advancements in medical technology made organ transplantation possible, the demand for organs has been far greater than the supply, thus creating an organ shortage. The medical necessity of genetic matching between donor and donee has disadvantaged minorities in their pursuit of healthy organs because most organ donors are Caucasian and are therefore not a genetic “match” for minorities. Minority disadvantage in organ allocation must inform federal stem cell policy lest the same genetic incompatibility hinder minority access to potentially life-saving stem cell therapies. The federal government must take affirmative and timely steps in order to ensure equitable access to stem cell therapies in the future. This book review outlines those steps, arguing that Congress should: (1) fund stem cell research in order to secure march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act; and (2) condition the receipt of funds on the use of diverse stem cell lines in order to promote the creation of therapies genetically accessible to a diverse citizenship.
Lesson Learned: Why Federal Stem Cell Policy Must Be Informed by Minority Disadvantage in Organ Allocation,
B.C. Third World L.J.