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Blood money - is it okay to pay donors?
Photo: DPA

Blood money - is it okay to pay donors?

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

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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.
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