This is an interesting ethical quesiton obviously. The biggest worry is that it starts us all down the path of using people as a means to an end, when people are an end in themselves. This is why I am in disagreement with selling body organs, and I think paying people to donate blood is wrong as well.
I agree with everyone here, education is key, I think when people find out how relatively simple it is to donate bone marrow they would do it. When it comes to cord blood, we should all be appaled that every day there are thousands of placentas thrown away. The blood from these could save so many lives. I think pregnant women should be given the opportunity to donate their babies cord blood. I think that if a women wants to do this, we should find away to take the financial burden off of the consenting parents.
As for getting to the minorities, I think there needs to be outreach programs into the communities with educational programs specifically designed to the individual minority groups. I think in this case a raffle of some sort would be a good incentive, after educating them about the way the procedure is changed and how relatively simple it is, and like Lucky suggests, some sort of scholarship award or something could be raffled off.
Additionally, you have to consider that sometimes donors need to be contacted much later after transplant to provide donor lymphocyte cells (DLI), if the patient starts to show signs of relapse. So, I do not think a person should be a frequent bone marrow donor for this reason. Another consideration is that the donor has to take neupogen to stimulate their cell growth, I am not sure if the risks of being a multiple donor have been studied. What if someone was a multiple donor, and this somehow made the donor sick, but one of the patients needed access to additional lymphocytes?
As for the comments on the costs of everything associated with CML, I hear you....This is the problem in health and medicine, we haven't found the balance yet...
This topic reminded me of the book by Jodi Picoult, "My Sisters Keeper", here is a brief synopsis from the website:
A Short Synopsis
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned... until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable... a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life... even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?"
If you have seen the movie, but not read the book, then you must read the book as when the movie was made the ending was changed. Obviously the author took this scenario to an extreme case, but it sure raises lots of questions.
Thanks for bringing this topic up....