Buying and Selling Human Tissues for Stem Cell Research

A series of expert committee reports and legislative proposals suggest an emerging consensus in the medical research and public policy communities that compensating donors of tissues for stem cell and other biomedical research should be prohibited. This Article challenges this consensus by outlining, analyzing, and ultimately rejecting the leading arguments in favor of “no compensation” rules. The Article then evaluates second best alternatives to allowing cash compensation for tissues and concludes by comparing the issues raised by compensation for research tissues with those raised by compensation for transplant organs.