“Lack of Minorities Closes Boise Bone Marrow Center”

by Walter Olson on August 8, 2008

So now everyone will be happy dept.: The only bone-marrow donor program in Idaho’s capital of Boise is closing down. It seems the National Marrow Donor Program has enacted regulations requiring local programs either to recruit at least 1,000 minority donors a year or to hire a full-time recruiter by way of showing a good-faith effort toward that goal. But there aren’t enough minorities in the Treasure Valley to hit the numerical target and the program at St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute isn’t big enough to support the full-time hire, so now the nearest local option for potential donors will be an institution in Spokane, Washington. (Idaho Statesman and more, Idaho Business Review, Seattle Times) (via Taranto).

More: The national program, however, denies that its regulations require the hiring of a recruiter and says its local minority recruitment goal is 575, not 1,000: Taranto, Aug. 11.

{ 7 comments }

1 Bill Poser 08.08.08 at 12:57 am

This really is idiotic. You’d think that they could at least use some criterion that takes into account the demographics of the area. Boise is 92.5% white. At the mean rate of registration for the US, that means that the expected number of non-white donors is 480.

2 spudbeach 08.08.08 at 12:10 pm

Ah, how about a little bit of reality before we start the bashing?

The hard fact of the matter is that the NRMP doesn’t really need bone marrow from white folks — they’ve got plenty of those already. I’m a white guy, on the list for over 20 years, and not a single bite. What they need is coverage for everybody. Those people with hard to find immune profiles can’t find a match, while those with common profiles can find a match already. Adding 1000 extra copies of what they already have isn’t going to help anybody, while adding one more copy of a (for example) thai-german-black mix might. So why shouldn’t they work on getting what they need, and skip the political correctness?

3 Ryan Frank 08.08.08 at 12:21 pm

Thats baloney, there are plenty of people on waiting lists for bone marrow transplants who are white. More donors is better period, and just because your skin is a certain color doesn’t make your profile match everyone else with the same skin color.

4 Melvin H. 08.08.08 at 12:41 pm

Spudbaech, to “work on getting what they need” [your words], first you have to HAVE that available; if, as another poster said, Boise is 92.5% white, that limits what is available. After all, the population of Boise isn’t close to the population–or demographics–of L.A., Chicago, Denver, or New York!
I do agree with you though–STOP the P.C. nonsense!

5 nevins 08.10.08 at 10:10 pm

And the liberals accuse conservatives of being stingy donors. When in reality it is minorities that are stingy; unwilling to part with a completely regenerating bodily fluid that is hardly more difficult to collect than blood. For that matter, minorities are equally stingy with donations of solid organs and whole blood too.
Would this be a simple case of ‘what goes around, comes around’?

6 Fred Russell 08.11.08 at 10:57 am

Just a thought – since there are so few minorities in the Boise area, wouldn’t that also reduce the number of minorities who require a transplant?

7 Bill Poser 08.11.08 at 3:59 pm

Just a thought – since there are so few minorities in the Boise area, wouldn’t that also reduce the number of minorities who require a transplant?

Yes, but I think the registry is national. In effect, they have closed down the Boise office to punish Boise for not being able to to make a disproportionate contribution of minority types to help out areas with larger minority populations.

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