January 15th, 2016

For-profit paid blood donation scheme must be stopped: NDP

NDP Health Critic, Don Davies, cites lessons from inquiry into tainted blood scandal

NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) is calling on the Liberal government to adopt a national ban of for-profit and paid-donor blood clinics in Canada. This comes after repeated attempts by a private, for-profit blood plasma company to open clinics in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan that would offer payments to donors.

“Ontario and Manitoba have already rebuffed this company, but that just shifts its efforts to the next province, most recently Saskatchewan” said Davies. “It’ time we took a national approach to this dangerous and immoral proposal.”

Davies pointed out that following the tainted blood scandal of the 1980s, Canada’s Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada, led by Justice Krever, recommended against paid-donor blood clinics.

“Justice Krever was clear that offering payments for blood donations poses a major risk to public health,” said Davies. “I am also very concerned about proposals to locate clinics in economically-challenged neighbourhoods to entice poor people to sell their blood.”

Davies said that the existing Canadian Blood Services, with its strong oversight, regulations and voluntary donor model, should be the only organization running blood and plasma donation services in Canada.

“Canada must maintain the highest standards in blood safety, and blood donations save lives,” Davies said. “To preserve these, it is time for a national ban on for-profit, paid-donor clinics in Canada.”

Davies concluded by announcing his sponsorship of a national E-petition to ban the practice of for-profit, paid-donor blood schemes in Canada.