Payment, Compensation and Replacement -- the Ethics and Motivation of Blood and Plasma Donation
Bult, J M
Vox sanguinis 2010 Oct; 99(3): 202-11
The supply of blood and plasma to produce haemotherapies varies around the world, but all environments need donors to furnish the raw material. Many countries still lack adequate supply, and the question of what amounts of blood and plasma are required for optimal treatment is still unresolved. The issue of compensating donors has been a controversial and emotive one in blood transfusion for many decades. Donors are conventionally classified as paid, voluntary or replacement, and a level of stigma, based on safety and ethical considerations, has been attached to paid donation. This review points to evidence which renders many of these concerns redundant. Purist arguments against compensated donation have little basis in evidence and would lead to many of today's voluntary donors being designated as paid, because of the large range of incentives used to recruit and retain them. Misplaced application of 'Titmussian' volunteerism has precipitated its own safety and supply problems. Current systems of compensation and replacement are needed to maintain supplies of essential products and lead to safe products in controlled environments. We propose that a plurality of routes towards donation is an appropriate paradigm in the heterogeneous landscape of blood and plasma product supply.
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