Authors
Vida Panitch
Carleton University
L. Chad Horne
Northwestern University
Abstract
A private, for-profit company has recently opened a pair of plasma donation centres in Canada, at which donors can be compensated up to $50 for their plasma. This has sparked a nation-wide debate around the ethics of paying plasma donors. Our aim in this paper is to shift the terms of the current debate away from the question of whether plasma donors should be paid and toward the question of who should be paying them. We consider arguments against paying plasma donors grounded in concerns about exploitation, commodification, and the introduction of a profit motive. We find them all to be normatively inconclusive, but also overbroad in light of Canada’s persistent reliance on plasma from paid donors in the United States. While we believe that there are good reasons to oppose allowing a private company to profit from Canada’s blood supply, these concerns can be addressed if payment is dispensed instead by a public, not-for-profit agency. In short, we reject profiting from plasma while we endorse paying for plasma; we therefore conclude in favour of a new Canadian regime of public sector plasma collection and compensation.
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Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Ethical Limitations of the Market.Elizabeth Anderson - 1990 - Economics and Philosophy 6 (2):179.
Constraint, Consent, and Well-Being in Human Kidney Sales.P. M. Hughes - 2009 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34 (6):606-631.
Noxious Markets Versus Noxious Gift Relationships.Hallie Liberto - 2013 - Social Theory and Practice 39 (2):265-287.

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