My preferred type of gift-giving (considering I don't participate in the typical activities) at this time of year would be blood donation - except that I can only donate blood once every twelve weeks; so today for the first time I gave plasma instead. I can do this every fortnight. I guess I am 3/5 perceived typicality for a plasma donor (Bove, Bednall, Masser, & Buzza, 2011 [behind pay/study-wall]). I have the time available to give... others might find the time if it were recognised as a valid volunteer/participation activity (Is it recognised by Centrelink?).
I like and believe it is important that, in Australia, blood/plasma/platelets are *donated* (ie not *sold* by the human-producer).
I understand that if production of medicinal products from plasma is not in government hands (would that ever have been an option?) that a commercial enterprise would need to have a profit-motive - and yet I am curious as to the *level* of profit that stands to be made by such commercial enterprise [in Australia I understand this is CSL Biotherapies] from my donation. Can anyone suggest a way to discover that?
Another concern I've discovered stems from a threat to Australia's self-sufficiency in blood-product supplies from the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United States of America. I read of this in a 2004 submission from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to the Australian Government - Where stands that threat now?
What would I think/feel if I found that Australia was importing plasma products from companies who buy plasma from humans (who do not then qualify as "donors")? It seems wrong, although I can't pinpoint why... is it just wrong for Australia to buy what we're not allowed, individually, to sell? I don't want that law to change, but so long as it stands, I think that restriction should be respected in the other direction - that others (government, doctors, companies) in Australia should not be allowed to buy products obtained through payment (or reimbursement) to the original individual human supplier.
Bove, L. L., Bednall, T., Masser, B., & Buzza, M. (2011). Understanding the plasmapheresis donor in a voluntary, nonremunerated environment. Transfusion, 51(11), 2411-2424. doi:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03168.x