Over the last couple of years there have been rumblings about the introduction of private blood donation clinics in Ontario that would pay people for giving blood. Concerns were raised that creating financial incentives would cause potential donors to lie about their health (a very real concern given the tragic history of tainted blood in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s), and that private clinics could threaten the supply of blood in Canada’s voluntary blood donor system. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care publicly stated their intention to introduce legislation that would prohibit private clinics from entering the blood donation domain.
Bill 21, the Safeguarding Health Care Integrity Act, 2014 was introduced in the Ontario Legislature on July 22, 2014. If passed, this Bill will create the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, 2014. The purpose of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act is to provide recognition for the following three principles:
- Within Ontario’s health care system, blood donations are viewed as a public resource.
- Blood donors should not be paid, except in exceptional circumstances.
- The integrity of the public, voluntary blood donor system in Ontario must be protected.
The Act will prohibit paying or offering to pay a person for giving blood. It will also prohibit accepting payment in return for donating blood.
Note: The Voluntary Blood Donations Act, 2014was previously introduced in March 2014 but died on the order paper due to the spring election.
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