Paying plasma donors in Canada is a contentious issue that has raised concerns and given rise to fierce debate for quite some time now. Despite a large number of ethicists, economists, and medical professionals publicly supporting paid plasma donations, there are a small percentage of Canadians that still question the practice and its legitimacy. In today’s blog, we’ll be debunking common misconceptions about paid plasma donations and unpacking all the reasons that compensating donors is important.
First and foremost, paying plasma donors is a great way to show your appreciation for their time and effort. Plasma donation is a process that takes anywhere from one and a half hours to over two hours to complete, depending on how many donations you’ve made in the past. This time commitment in addition to the temporary discomfort that can come from blood plasma being drawn makes donors more than deserving of economic consideration. Paid plasma donation also provides donors with additional remuneration that enables them to live much more comfortably.
In Canada, we don’t have nearly as many plasma donors as we need to meet the demand for plasma, and we largely rely on paid donors from the United States to make the lifesaving therapies that patients need. Compensating donors is pretty much the only way to ensure a secure supply of plasma and the world’s largest exporters of plasma, the US and Germany, are both countries that have legislation permitting plasma donors to be compensated. Evidently, paid plasma donations give plasma donors the extra motivation they need to continue donating, which in turn increases and secures the plasma supply for patients who need it.
A Safe Supply
Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, paid plasma donations are just, if not more, safe than unpaid donations. All paid plasma donors must undergo rigorous screenings and regular blood tests to ensure tainted blood supplies never make their way to individuals that need lifesaving plasma treatments. In addition, since most of Canada’s current plasma supply comes from paid plasma donors in the US, patients would already be at risk, making the “safety” argument invalid.
At the end of the day, there is no disputing the fact that paid plasma donations are mutually beneficial. Plasma donors get compensated for their time, effort, and commitment, and patients that need lifesaving therapies are much more easily able to access them. At Canadian Plasma Resources, we’ve been long-time proponents of paid plasma donation and have seen first hand how this practice can make a difference in the lives of donors and recipients alike.
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