Alberta introduces legislation to ban donating blood, plasma for profit

File: blood donation.
File: blood donation. AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File

Alberta is taking action to prevent donors from selling their blood and plasma for a profit.

The changes are included in the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, introduced in the legislature by Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.

“Donating blood should not be viewed as a business venture, but as a public resource saving lives every day,” Hoffman said in a media release. “Banning paid blood donation will make sure people are donating to the same, coordinated, integrated blood supply network.”

If passed, Alberta will join Quebec and Ontario in banning the practice.

READ MORE: Why Ontario is moving to ban paying people for their blood

There are two private blood clinics up and running — one in Saskatoon and another in Winnipeg — and officials say this bill will prevent a similar operation from setting up in Alberta.

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Provinces currently fund and get blood and blood products from Canadian Blood Services, a non-profit agency.

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“Canadian Blood Services is supportive of Alberta’s efforts to help further strengthen Canada’s voluntary, non-remunerated, publicly funded collections model,” said Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services.

“Alberta has a long and proud history of support for the blood system and we are pleased to see recognition of the work and contributions of the many donors and volunteers in the province.”

READ MORE: Pay for plasma: The economics behind paid and unpaid systems

Officials say if private firms buy blood and plasma from donors to resell on the global market, there could be a corresponding drop in donors to Canadian Blood Services.

Fines for violating the law will begin at $10,000 a day for individuals and $100,000 a day for corporations.

Watch below: Ongoing Global News coverage of the debate surrounding paying people for plasma and blood donation

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With files from Global News.

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