• Germany's news in English

Blood money - is it okay to pay donors?

The Local · 14 Jun 2012, 12:52

Published: 14 Jun 2012 12:52 GMT+02:00

There is a strong European tradition that blood donors get no more than a cup of tea and biscuit – and the priceless knowledge that they have helped to save a life.

But increasingly, the DRK has warned, donors are being paid by private clinics, pharmaceutical firms and even universities for their blood.

This could leave the DRK, with its feel-good biscuits, out in the cold – and the bought blood in the hands of those conducting commercial research rather than in the veins of accident victims.

One alarming point made by the DRK was that the €25 usually on offer for blood was three times the daily allowance for those on the lowest level of unemployment support in Germany.

Should those in need of some extra cash be able to sell their blood to supplement miserly income?

Should all blood donors be offered payment perhaps? Or is the principle of voluntarism a valuable one in our increasingly commercialised society? Is there something special about literally opening a vein to help others that should be kept free of money?

Registered users of The Local may add their comments in the field below. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here – it’s free and only takes a moment.

The Local/hc

Related articles

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:53 June 14, 2012 by TheWonderer
Some things in life are priceless: life, organs and blood should not be sold but donated only

While I think compensation for expenses such as parking fees is okay, paying would attract the wrong people: Those who need money desperately.

Being a donor since many years, I have been sent away a few times when I revealed in the questionaire that I just had a flu the week before or took an Aspirin that day. When not paid, that's no difference.

But when people count on this money as an income, they may conceal all that may have them rejected - and that is bad.

Of course you may say where is the problem about an Aspirin (just as I wondered years ago) - but when a cancer-patient w/o a working immunal system gets blood with a remainder of flu-virus in it or a bleeder gets Aspirin-contaminated blood, this may just make the difference... :-(

Eventhough blood is checked - but not all things can be tracked (e. g. due to incubation-times). So you are also given a questionnaire and a card (anonymously, but connected to your blood/bag by bar-code) where you can check whether you are part of a risk group (specified there) or not and whether your blood can be used - or not.

Reason: If your co-workers, friends, family etc. go to give blood as a group, there may be group-pressure on you to join. In order for you to be able to say you join in, you get the chance to "tick off" the blood when alone in the cabin.

But this requires that you will not loose anything.

The very moment money is involved, people want to have it - and they may not disclose all information necessary (e. G. Time passed since last donation ­ as they can be hopping between different services).

So in order to maintain a high quality, just attract those who do it for idealistic reasons, not for bitter greed for cash.

The Wonderer
17:00 June 14, 2012 by raandy
"One alarming point made by the DRK was that the €25 usually on offer for blood was three times the daily allowance for those on the lowest level of unemployment support in Germany."

What has this got to do with paying for blood? Any student or person looking for a little cash, wouldn't give for much less. Addicts and alcoholics are easily detected in the blood screening.

The issue is how badly do you need blood? If volunteers are readily filling the needs, thats great, hope it continues, if not payment may be necessary.

I read some years ago that a State in the USA was gong to offer traffic violators the option of giving blood as opposed to paying the fine.
18:12 June 14, 2012 by Englishted
They won't take mine when I offered even though I gave over a 100 pints in England ,simple because I think it is the right thing to do.

So if you can and are allowed do it ,maybe someday you may need some yourself.
19:04 June 14, 2012 by MIKE LOUGHNANE
free nothing in life is free.next time you get blood in a hospital please let me know if its free.
20:34 June 14, 2012 by Landmine
I agree with MIKE LOUGHNANE, if hospitals can charge for it, then individuals should too.
21:35 June 14, 2012 by Bilderberg
The next time you give bold think about the gangsters who shoot ech other up in the streets with their guns, then they are given 30-40 units of blood to save their worthless lives.

Yes, donars should be paid. I do now an my blood going to a gangster or a wealthy CEO....when I give it for free. Neither group deserves my blood for free as one group is violently abusive and the other is violently exploitive!
11:30 June 28, 2012 by Karl_Berlin
I may be wrong on this point, but my understanding is that the DRK sells blood just like the "private institutions" they are complaining about. Are they simply complaining about the "competition"?

The world is a sick place (http://www.chefkoch.de/forum/2,22,435202/DRK-Blutspenden-das-Geschaeft-mit-unserem-freiwilligen-kostenlosen-Blut.html).
06:58 July 2, 2012 by BigIg
You can't pay a "Donor". If you pay him, he becomes a "Seller"

In some countries registered blood donors are entitled to receive free blood when they or their families need it. I believe it is a fair system.

To collect, process, store and distribute blood costs the DRK money, so they should recover these costs in order to support the system.

The question is, how much profit the hospitals make on the blood and will they charge the same for "Cheap" DRK blood as for commercial blood?

As per normal, this story is only a stub and does not really provide much useful information.
Today's headlines
50,000 expected at Berlin anti-TTIP demo
People demonstrating against TTIP in Berlin on October 7th 2015. Photo: DPA

50,000 expected at Berlin anti-TTIP demo

4 hours ago

Organizers of a mass rally in Berlin against US-EU free trade agreement TTIP say that they expect around 50,000 people on Saturday from all over Germany to take part.

Bavaria threatens Merkel with court over refugees
Border controls between Austria and Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Bavaria threatens Merkel with court over refugees

11 hours ago

The Bavarian government is threatening to take Chancellor Angela Merkel to the country's highest court to make her change her refugee policy.

This Week in History
What the Germans brought to America
Germany and USA flags adorn New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2011. Photo: DPA

What the Germans brought to America

5 hours ago

German-American Day first gained a spot on US calendars over 130 years ago. An annual holiday on October 6th, it marks the day in 1683 when 13 German families arrived in Philadelphia to set up home. But what exactly made their arrival so important?

Berlin school bans Wi-fi hub over porno fears
Photo: DPA

Berlin school bans Wi-fi hub over porno fears

6 hours ago

A school in west Berlin has opposed the city putting a public Wi-fi hot spot on their roof – because they are afraid pupils will use it to view pornography on their smartphones.

How well does Homeland get Germany?
Photo: DPA.

How well does Homeland get Germany?

6 hours ago

As the first episode of the new season of Homeland, shot in Berlin, aired this week, The Local takes a look at what it got right on point - and where it totally missed the point - about Berlin and Germany. Obviously: spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it.

Klopp meets press as new Liverpool boss
Jürgen Klopp posing with a Liverpool FC shirt at Anfield. Photo: DPA

Klopp meets press as new Liverpool boss

9 hours ago

Jürgen Klopp was introduced to the media as Liverpool manager on Friday morning and spoke of his pride at taking over at one of English football's biggest teams.

Police hunt suspect after refugee child snatched
Mohamed Januzi (l) and the suspected abductor (r). Photo: Polizei Berlin

Police hunt suspect after refugee child snatched

9 hours ago

A four-year-old refugee child went missing in Berlin over nine days ago. Now police have released a picture of his suspected abductor.

Klopp calls Liverpool deal 'dream move'
Jürgen Klopp. Credit: LFCTV

Klopp calls Liverpool deal 'dream move'

10 hours ago

German football coach Jürgen Klopp flew into Liverpool on Thursday to put pen to paper on a contract with the Premier League club, describing the move as "like a dream".

West must 'treat Russia properly': Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: DPA

West must 'treat Russia properly': Juncker

12 hours ago

The West must "treat Russia properly" and address it as an equal, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said in Passau on Thursday, criticising the US for labelling Moscow a regional power.

European Championships Qualifying
Ireland stun wasteful Germany with shock win
Photo: DPA

Ireland stun wasteful Germany with shock win

12 hours ago

Shane Long stunned world champions Germany with a goal that guaranteed Ireland a Euro 2016 playoff spot on an historic night at Lansdowne Road as the hosts won 1-0.

Are the German public too happy to see Hitler?
The secret to more travel for less
Government blocks plans for Berlin 'cannabis cafes'
'Der Klassiker': no classic at all for Dortmund
Dortmund fans' bad behaviour in Thessaloniki
UK Ambassador wants more young Brits in Germany
How Snoop Dogg dissed Munich hip hop scene
More wind power generated so far in 2015 than all of 2014
Rent a nuclear bunker near Berlin for just €3,000 a month
German universities leap up world elite rankings
Business & Money
What to do if you own a cheating Volkswagen
Homeland star's fave Berlin spot is Berghain
Why Dresden Buddhists won't be using the swastika symbol
Mystery of 'murdered' student found alive after 31 years
What wearable technology might look like in the future
Why vegetarian food is more German than a Bratwurst
The very best of traditional German vegetarian food
The first glimpse of Neptune - from an observatory in Berlin
How VW was rebuilt from nothing... by an English army officer
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd