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The Great Debate: To Pay or Not to Pay

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Illustration: Simon Letch

So I was recently came across this article from the Sydney Morning Herald writer Matt Wade about whether blood donors should be rewarded with money for donating blood. You can read the full article here.

In his article, Wade brings up a few arguments in regards to this situation:

– there are international guidelines that discourage the practise of paying for blood

– the potential of cash to attract “worse donors” whom are only interested in donating due to financial troubles

– most blood donors are motivated by helping people in society and that paying donors “might undermine that civic spirit” which could ultimately turn selfless donors away and result in less donors over all

– Economist believe that blood donation supplies would be increased if people were offered an incentive to donate

– there have been numerous studies that have shown that “rewards can have a positive effect on donations, without negative consequences on the safety of the blood collected”. These rewards include T-shirts, small gift vouchers, lottery tickets, free cholesterol testing and even a day off work

– no matter how small the gift, people are more likely to donate. One study found that $5 gift card incentives increased the likelihood of people who have previously donated by 26% and $10 gift cards produced a 52% increase

– the threat of public spirit could undermined due to bribery

Personally, I believe that blood donation shouldn’t be rewarded through a gift of any kind- be it a day off work or cash. I feel that it’s like placing a cost on how much a person’s life is worth, which just isn’t right. I don’t donate blood because I want money. I donate blood because I want to save someone’s life. I donate blood because i want to help. I donate blood because i know that something so small means so much to a someone. I donate blood because the chances are that my best friend, my partner, my mother, my brother or even myself might need a donation one day.

So what do you guys think about this debate? What drives you to donate blood?

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Author: youngbloodcampaign

An initiative to encourage young Australians to become blood donors.

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