Taking Action to Protect Voluntary Blood Donations

Ontario Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Paying Donors for Blood and Plasma

Ontario is taking action to protect the province's voluntary blood and plasma donation system.

Today, the government introduced the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, 2014. If passed, the new legislation would:

  • Prohibit payments to individuals for their blood and plasma, including reimbursement of expenses or other forms of compensation.
  • Strengthen the government's enforcement powers in the case of violations.
  • Expand the criteria considered for licensing blood collection facilities to ensure the public interest is upheld.

This week, the government also made regulatory amendments that prohibit any licensed lab or specimen collection centre from paying for blood and plasma donations, including reimbursement of expenses.

Ontario's position is consistent with the 1997 Krever Commission's report on Canada's blood system, which recommended that donors of blood and plasma should not be paid for their donations, except in rare circumstances.

Strengthening the current model of voluntary donations for blood and plasma supports the government's commitment to protect the integrity of our public blood donor system.

QUOTES

" Today, our government is taking decisive action to keep Ontario’s blood and plasma donation system voluntary. Passing this legislation will maintain the integrity of our public, voluntary blood donor system and I call on all parties to support this important bill. We strongly support Ontarians as they continue giving blood and plasma voluntarily."
- Deb Matthews Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

" Canadian Blood Services has successfully managed the blood and blood products supply for Ontarians for more than fifteen years. We are confident in the safety and sustainability of the current blood and blood products system in Canada, and we recognize Ontario’s role in preserving voluntary blood and plasma donation in this province."
- Dr. Graham Sher CEO, Canadian Blood Services

" Minister Matthews has made a wise decision by making it illegal to pay for blood in Ontario and it would be prudent for other provinces, as well as Health Canada, to follow her lead. I know that my late husband, James Kreppner, would commend Minister Matthews for protecting the voluntary blood donation system."
- Antonia Swann (Smudge) widow of the late James Kreppner, tainted blood victim and activist

QUICK FACTS

  • Canada is completely self-sufficient in its supply of plasma used for transfusions.
  • On June 27, 2013, the federal government indicated that it considers payment to blood and plasma donors to be within the jurisdiction of provinces and territories.
  • Currently, there is no legislation specifically prohibiting paying for blood or plasma donations in Ontario.

LEARN MORE

  • Ontario urges other Canadian jurisdictions to protect the current model of voluntary donations for blood and plasma.
  • Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care.
  • Krever Commission’s report.
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