The blood of poor Americans is now a leading export, bigger than corn or soy

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/12/09/leeched.html

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Holy shit. When did we end up in the bleak timeline…

broadchurch-sad|nullxnull

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“I’m not just an investor. I’m also a client!”

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I legitimately considered selling blood back when i was in college and desperate for money. I never did so because i hate needles, but in hindsight i’m glad i didn’t. I was already not eating well, walking everywhere because i didn’t have a car, and i was pretty underweight.

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Well, of course, this is eminently reasonable.

Mammon requires blood. If you stop giving Mammon blood, Mammon stops giving you money. So feed Mammon blood at every opportunity: war, violence, predation, medical debt, disease! Mammon will bless you for your fealty and faith with monetary prosperity!

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Having recently moved to Austin this process confused me greatly. I was a platelet donor back in Toronto, so I had to figure out that there were “Government”, cash-free blood donations via weareblood.org - and then a plethora of “commercial” options that pay you.

It sucks - because it basically means only those who don’t care to make a profit from their “donation” will give to the Texas Blood Service, while everyone else gets paid and, presumably, makes the cost of blood higher for everyone as a result. And it’s even worse if you rely on that profit as a part of your income.

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When I was a college student at UT circa 1997-98, I walked to a “clinic” somewhere around Guadalupe and 29th, donated plasma, then walked back to Jester Center. It’s a long walk back when you have that prickly gray thing going on with your vision. I only did that a few times before I decided there had to be a better way to earn a few bucks.

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Is this what’s happening to the children in the detention centers? Plus the organ farming?

From the linked article:

The U.S. supplies fully 70 percent of the world’s plasma, mainly because most other countries have banned the practice on ethical and medical grounds.

How does a country ban the commercial harvesting of its citizens but still accept the result of some other country’s citizens exploitation?
I found it extremely repulsing and this is one of the reasons that make third world countries distrust any solution proposed from a first world country, including regarding climate change.

I don’t know all the details about blood donation and then I’m not sure how this is different/more efficient than donating the whole blood.
IIRC, the interval to donate to donate the blood components, platelets, red blood cells, etc. (similarly to donating plasma, where you blood is filtered and then injected back in you) in my country was the same as a regular donation (I only saw it at my university hospital, and they only accepted a few people, e.g. those who had a high count of platelets) and in Japan it was at least 2 weeks or a month, but being able to donate twice a week looks insane.

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Plasma donation twice a week?? That is nuts.

I donate to a free clinic network, the same one my father is a 10 gallon donor at. They only let you donate whole blood once every 8 weeks, and a double red cell donation every 16 weeks. The max you can donate works out to a gallon every 20 months or so.

That said I do know a number of people who as college kids, or underemployed adults have taken to donating plasma twice a month.

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I used to do this back in college, about 25 years ago. Twice a week, and the payment schedule was a backloaded 4-donation cycle ($10, $10, $15, $20 IIRC). So if you missed a scheduled donation you went back to the start of the cycle. It was predatory, but I needed the money. My minimum wage part-time job wasn’t enough to get by.

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Sounds like the whole plot from Path of Exile, I swear.

Why is it nuts?

From

https://www.hema-quebec.qc.ca/sang/donneur-sang/types-de-don/index.en.html

Plasma donations are made in the GLOBULE Laurier-Québec and in our PLASMAVIE in Gatineau, Saguenay, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières. It is possible to give plasma by apheresis once every six days.

Double red cell donation are made in our GLOBULE Centres. This type of donation allows to give more each time, but you only give every 112 days.

Platelet donation are made in our GLOBULECentres. It is possible to give platelets once every 14 days.

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I assume that there isn’t a centralized database of donors, and seeing as how I pass at least two plasma centers on my way to work, I’m guessing there are people who are donating being harvested more often than that.

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I guess I am used to once every 2 months, or every 4 months for my (very different) donations. Even so, every 6 days is not twice a week… they are skirting the health rules for safe donation.

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Not yet, probably.

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If you’re selling it, it isn’t donated.
And yes, there is something wrong with prohibiting your own citizens from selling their blood on moral grounds, but allowing purchased blood to be imported and sold.
If you think selling blood is bad, that is nothing like as bad as getting paid for medical students to practice procedures on.

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Brings a whole new meaning to “bleeding the poor dry”…

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Or at least a literal meaning. They’re lucky the poor aren’t turnips.

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