Tuesday, October 6, 2020

An open letter to Canadian health authorities on laws against compensating Canadian plasma donors

 The letter is available on a website called Donation Ethics: Ethicists and Economists for Ethical Donation-Compensation Practices  organized by Peter M. Jaworski and  David Faraci. (I am among the signers.)

"Ethicists and Economists express concerns about banning compensation for plasma donors with regards to ensuring the security of a safe Immune Globulin Product Supply.

"Submission to the Expert Panel on Immune Globulin Product Supply and Related Impacts in Canada


We are professional ethicists in the fields of medical ethics, business ethics, and/or normative ethics, and academic economists who study how incentives and other mechanisms affect individual behaviour. We all share the goal of improving social welfare.

"The Provinces of Québec (1994),1 Ontario (2014),2 and Alberta (2017)3 have passed Voluntary Blood Donation Acts or their equivalents that prohibit, amongst other things, compensation for plasma donations for purposes of further processing into plasma-derived medicinal products (hereafter: “PDMPs”), like Immune Globulin (hereafter: “Ig”). Currently, the Nova Scotia legislature is debating a Voluntary Blood Donations Act,4 and the British Columbia government has suggested that it is interested in pursuing similar legislation.5



"In our view, none of the moral objections to the compensatory model are persuasive. Furthermore, there is a strong moral presumption against standing in the way of a model that is the most likely to promote security not only of Canada’s supply of PDMPs, including Ig, but also of the global supply. We urge Québec, Ontario, and Alberta to reconsider the Acts currently prohibiting compensation in their provinces.

"Finally, we note that well-informed opponents of the compensatory model should not suggest that PDMPs, including Ig, made with compensated donors are riskier or less safe than PDMPs, including Ig, made with uncompensated donors. This presumption may be harmful to patients."

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