Research Workshop: "Prohibiting Paid Plasma Exploits Plasma Donors and Patients"
Mark Wells (Northeastern University)
Friday, January 15, 2021, 12:00pm - 2:00pm via Zoom.
Abstract: In countries that prohibit payment for plasma, thousands of patients depend on medicine made from paid plasma donations to survive or thrive. Yet only Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, the U.S., and the less-populated provinces and territories of Canada permit paid plasma donation. In Canada in particular, efforts to ban paid plasma by commercial entities have escalated in the past six years with success in three provinces, and failure at the national level. Along with an internal policy at Canadian Blood Services to never remunerate for plasma donation, these efforts amount to a call for the de facto prohibition of paid plasma. As part of justifying these efforts, prohibitionists characterize the offer of payment for a plasma donation as exploitative, reflecting a concern also found in the bioethics literature. In this paper, we argue that such a prohibition is itself wrongfully exploitative in Canada.