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MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Britney sell her blood?

in Money Saving Polls
51 replies 13.3K views
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should Britney sell her blood?

Since the age of 18, Britney has donated blood every six months at her local hospital. Unfortunately, due to a costly divorce and the collapse of her business, her debts have pilled up and although she now has two jobs, cut down her expenses and sold all of her valuables on eBay, she is struggling to keep her head above water. Whilst looking for a third job, she reads in a newspaper that a research centre will pay £100 for the same quantity of blood she would usually give for free.

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  • MothballsWalletMothballsWallet Forumite
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    I'm not sure about this - the thing is, are we talking about a pint per donation session (which is what the National Blood Service here will allow)? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, 100 quid paid for 1 pint of blood.

    The next question is: how badly in debt is our Britney? You see, she could be tempted to sell more than 1 pint at a time as that would pay more money so help her with her debts, but the problem is that women's bodies carry about 5 pints of blood, IIRC, where men's bodies carry about 7.

    I think that the reason why blood donors can't give more than 1 pint at a time is to allow their bodies to safely (this being the operative word here) replace that blood by natural regeneration (I think it takes about a week for a donor's system to replace the donated pint).

    Okay, so my biology's not very good, but I do remember there's different volumes of blood carried by men and women.
  • I don't think it would be legal for an organisation to take more than a pint of blood from one person within a set time frame. With the normal Blood Tranfusion Service, the minimum time to wait between donations is 16 weeks, so if Britney feels bad about missing one of her regular sessions, she can donate a little more frequently in future to make up for it.
    If I were in her position though, I'd want to find out some basic informatrion about the research centre before going ahead.
  • MothballsWalletMothballsWallet Forumite
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    I don't think it would be legal for an organisation to take more than a pint of blood from one person within a set time frame. With the normal Blood Tranfusion Service, the minimum time to wait between donations is 16 weeks, so if Britney feels bad about missing one of her regular sessions, she can donate a little more frequently in future to make up for it.
    If I were in her position though, I'd want to find out some basic informatrion about the research centre before going ahead.
    I see where you're coming from - however, we don't know much about this research firm from the original dilemma: they may be 100% law-abiding, or they might be a bit Arthur Daley-esque.

    A company can obey just enough laws to make sure that Government and Police don't pay you too close attention, but be breaking other laws under the counter, so to speak. It just depends on how many 0's are in the budget for your legal team...
  • phoebe03catphoebe03cat Forumite
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    No, give it all up and go bankrupt. She's probably in no fit state to give blood anyway. Sure with divorce and business loss doctor could deem her medically unfit to work . Give blood for free and keep self respect. Recoup and start fresh. What's the motivation to take on three jobs and sell blood in this benefit riddled country anyway; or maybe she's a white middle class worker, paid through the nose all her life and not entitled to any?
  • So long as she doesn't do anything that causes her health risks, then absolutely she would be very justified in selling her blood. As there is a market for it, that means that she is effectively contributing to charity by donating her blood for free to the donation service. She is in problems with money, and to my mind, if you don't have enough money to keep your head above water, then number one, stop paying to charity, and number two find ways to increase your income. Full Stop end of.

    If when she's out of debt she wishes to start donating again, that's her choice. If however she feels that she'd rather continue to earn money for her blood that's also her choice.

    There are many ways that people can give up some of their earning power to give to charity, for example people who work part-time but do voluntary work in the hours that they've given up, and by continueing to dontate rather than make money from it, she would be giving up part of her earning power to charity.
  • Perhaps the problem would be solved if blood transfusions were only given free to those that make donations during the year. If you needed a blood transfusion and had not donated then perhaps you could be charged £100 per pint you accept. This could then be paid to the people that had donated the blood in the first place as all blood donations are now well recorded.

    As to her selling her blood I suppose the same argument applies to the abortion dilema - its your body and your choice many would say. Others would say that it belongs to a higher authority and you have no such right and that you instead have a greater duty to mankind and should give freely of your blood for the greater good.

    Same arguement could of course apply to organ donation - gets very complicated me thinks..........................
  • olly300olly300 Forumite
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    One of the major issues for me is why does she donate blood free in the first place. Most of the people I know who donate blood have had relations who have needed lots of care and it's a way of saying thanks. If she has no special reason for donating blood then she should go and get paid for it.

    However knowing different people who have been volunteers for medical research the ones who where in debt or needed the money to live on, being a guinea pig didn't help their situation in the long-term. Britney is better of going to the debt-free wannabee board for support and contacting an organisation like the National Debt Helpline for a long-term plan.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
  • olly300olly300 Forumite
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    andybuchan wrote: »
    Perhaps the problem would be solved if blood transfusions were only given free to those that make donations during the year. If you needed a blood transfusion and had not donated then perhaps you could be charged £100 per pint you accept. This could then be paid to the people that had donated the blood in the first place as all blood donations are now well recorded.
    As a blood donor I don't agree with this.

    I know people who can't give blood for different reasons - this includings fainting when trying to donate, medical conditions and simply not being heavy enough.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
  • olly300 wrote: »

    However knowing different people who have been volunteers for medical research the ones who where in debt or needed the money to live on, being a guinea pig didn't help their situation in the long-term. Britney is better of going to the debt-free wannabee board for support and contacting an organisation like the National Debt Helpline for a long-term plan.

    Yeh but surely finding ways of maximising income for minimum hassle and inconvenience can be a very positive part of the process of changing attitudes and moving towards being a money saving junky rather than a money spending junky....... of course there are lots of other things she could do in addition, but why turn away the chance of some easy cash, when she's in debt and needs it.......?? :confused:
  • No, give it all up and go bankrupt.

    Somehow, from personal experience, I don't think many of the creditors, who probably include friends and family, will think bankruptcy is the morally superior choice?

    Can we assume that this blood is going to be used as a lab ingredient, that is why the company is having to buy it; and not pumped into a living patient? I'm thinking of the role that buying blood from people (druggies?) with nothing left to loose; has played in HIV, hepatitis etc. I think we should be proud of the donor culture we still have in the UK, where do you draw the line: Bone marrow? Kidneys? Surrogate Pregnancy?

    Tread carefully, should a rich George Best type character be able to jump the Q & buy a kidney?

    Are our bodies our property to do with as we see fit?

    As a very occasional blood donor, I would NOT volunteer to give this healthy young daughter of mine the money to stop her selling a pint or two, if she sees that as the thing to do. So why do I draw the line at flogging off a kidney?

    Harry.
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