The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

That we should pay people to donate blood

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,134 times Debate No: 33027
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Thanks Yraelz for agreeing to debate this topic with me.

My model in this debate is simple. People who give their blood to registered blood-banks in order to help save those in need ought to be given some kind of recompense, notwithstanding reasonable restrictions that for the most part already exist in blood-banks (ie you have to be a certain age, you can't give blood too often, you can't have deadly blood-diseases etc). This incentive would be funded via the blood-bank themselves, who are typically funded by some combination of government or user-pays. Blood types in high demand could command greater income.

Now that you know where I stand in the debate and what we're arguing over, I can't wait to get started.

First round for acceptance. 72 hours per round. 8000 chars. 1 week voting.

Good luck!


I accept the debate, and I will oppose that blood banks should pay people to donate blood. Instead, I will likely focus on more viable alternative structures in my round 2. I await a case from my esteemed opponent. =)
Debate Round No. 1


The world is facing a very serious crisis right now. I'm delighted I'm able to talk it out. Those who miss out on blood donations aren't so lucky.

We need blood in hospitals

The average person has a ton of blood in their body (well, that's a hyperbole, but still) - loads more than they actually need to stay healthy. When somebody's blood level drops, however, hospitals need to give a transfusion. Car accident victims often require around 100 pints of blood to stay alive, which is an impressive amount given that a healthy adult body only contains around 10 pints [1]. Cancer and certain blood diseases are also common reasons why people lose blood.

The point that I'm trying to make is that blood is valuable and necessary. I don't think my opponent will strongly contest this. The question in this debate is whether we should be held ransom to the alturism of others, or if we should be allowed to offer them something.

We're running out

In the third world, they've never had enough blood, partly because of the prevalence of blood diseases, and partly because of traditional cultural beliefs discouraging donation. In the first world, there is a bigger problem - although more than in the third world, only about 3% of the population gives blood [1]. When you recognise that the population of these countries is aging, reducing the pool of eligable donors while simultaneously increasing the demand for blood (due to the diseases that old people get), you can recognise that the world is facing a major problem [2]. The US Red Cross blood bank has around 7 days supply (as of the time of writing this) of all blood types. That means that even under the status quo, if supply stops or demand increases for even just one week - perhaps because of a major disaster - then the country has no more blood to go around. If that gets any worse, then death due to surgeons running out of compatible blood is a very serious and very troubling issue. Already, there are shortages several times a year in many first world countries. It will get worse.

This is a particularly big issue for minorities, whose blood is hard to come by for many reasons, primarily a lack of donors [3]. Unless we get some incentive up there soon to boost those numbers, minority groups are going to have real problems when they get sick.

Nobody should have to die because of something we can all afford to give away. That's the real moral tragedy here. Nevertheless...

This debate is not an ethical question

All blood donations are technically paid, the question is simply who pays to whom. When the Red Cross or whoever your local blood bank is gets the blood, they split it into various components, test it, and finally sell the components to hospitals or medical centers. They don't usually just give it away - somebody needs to pay for all the testing, storage, sterilisation, doctors, scientists etc who make the blood donation process happen, and that's the hospitals, who charge the patients. Government will often subsidise this, so all taxpayers bear a part of the burden. Businesses pay, due to lost time by employees giving blood. Even donors must pay - it's their time, it's their blood. They make a loss. Well, sort of. In the USA and my country, New Zealand, donors are paid in cookies and juice. It's almost like they're trying to entice 3-year-olds to donate - money is a much better incentive. In any event, the "donated" blood is paid for. Any ethical opposition to this is in fact opposition to blood banks, not to my model.

Even if they were paid for the act, it's still a really nice and alturistic thing to do - to give up something to quite literally save the life of another. One could be greedy and not do this. The alturism comes from the willingness to give it away, not the reward recieved.

These facts are beginning to be recognised by the scientific establishment as well [4].

Better to have too many donors than too few

Paid blood donations work to increase donations, especially among younger donors [5] which is pretty important given the aging population issue. That's an indisputable fact - if people get more, then more often than not they'll give more - and if anybody would not donate if paid, then nothing in my model stops them requesting not to be paid. That's their right, and a very respectable choice (probably because they're only doing it to look "charitable"). However, it's also important to get the numbers up as high as possible. One experiment on the crowding-out effect noticed that it only existed when people were forced to take money in return for blood - when they were offered to give that money to charity instead (basically doubling the alturism) there was almost no crowding-out effect at all, and even when forced to take money there was no significant difference among men [7]. The "get more and we'll give more" effect has previously been observed with different forms of monetary compensation for blood in several large-scale field trials [8]. Back when commerical blood-money was the norm in America, America had more per-capita blood donations than anywhere else in the world [9].

It's true that any scheme that seeks to increase donation rates will invariably attract more people with diseases etc. This is not a problem with over-donation, but with imperfect screening methods used. No bloodbank has ever been oversupplied in history, even before the 1970s when paid blood donation was normal and common in most countries - and indeed, even in countries where it is still legal today, primarily in the third world. Medicine has come a long way since the 70s where diseased blood and dirty needles were still a big concern. Today, these things are unheard of out of first-world blood donation centers, primarily because of new medical technology and better screening methodologies. And in the third world, things are getting a lot better, very quickly. We need to do more, and the greater the incentive, the greater the impact. Money is one of the best incentives that there is. There is strong and convincing evidence that it is risk profiles, not renumeration, that determine safety [6].

Illegal blood markets suck

As with most body parts we can spare (kidneys etc), if there is a shortage of supply (and there will be unless we change our ways), people will turn to underground alternatives. They'll pay people to give them blood even if the legitimate places won't let them. The pernicious side effects of black markets for blood or other body parts are considerably more serious than black markets in general. There is no incentive on black market suppliers to do all the testing, proper storage, sterilisation, screening, medical history check-ups etc. The blood transfused is likely to be of much lower quality and possibly diseased, putting both patients and donors in medical jeopardy. And if they lose, it's the healthcare system that pays. Often that means needing even more blood transfusions, a vicious cycle that can cripple hospitals until blood donation itself becomes a futile exercise. And that's all legitimate desperation, because when you're a patient that will die tomorrow if they don't get blood, you're unlikely to be held back if some shady guy offers you some cheaply while legitimate doctors refuse to even let you have a chance.

That's the kind of dystopia I'd like to avoid in this debate - we should be enabled by blood banks to cure ills, not held to ransom by them to gamble with our lives. Quality controls are vital, and unpaid supply is simply not going to be sufficient. The only way to get sufficiently large amounts of additional supply to avoid this future, without sacrificing quality, is with some kind of renumeration.

The resolution is affirmed.


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In a debate such as this there are two ways to win. Let me delineate:

1. I could say we should pay people to donate blood because the disadvantages outweight the advantages.


2. I could say we should not pay people to donate blood because there is a more advantageous action that we should pursue instead.

In this debate I will concede the points that my opponent has made and choose to argue the latter. The alternative action is:

We should require people, by law, to give blood as per red cross specifications. I say red cross specifications because they do not accept blood from people with serious medical conditions or with non-viable blood (ex: HIV). There are a few simple advantages to this plan. First, as my opponent states, only 3% of the population gives blood. If nearly 100% were required to do so, then blood would have to be donated quite infrequently. With a 3300% increase (from 3% to 99%) people would be required to supply blood about once every decade. Secondarily, this absolutely solves the blood shortage crisis. With a constant gauranteed supply of blood, no one must die because of a lack.

Having said that, let's examine my opponents case.

We need blood in hospitals.
I agree.

We're Running Out
I also agree, however I will dispute the means by which we acquire blood. My opponent advocates for paying people, I'll suggest that this method does not have gauranteed procurement. It's still quite possible that people do not supply enough blood even when payed some amount of capital. However, the advocacy that we should pursue instead (requiring), gaurantees the blood needed. I will talk about this in more detail soon.

The Debate is Not an Ethical Question
The arguments my opponent is making here are the reasons he will lose this debate. Larztheloser is in an unwinnable double bind. Either we pay people a neglible sum of money and they are not very inspired to donate blood, or we pay them an inspirable sum but then the expense is passed onto the medical system. As my opponent correctly articulates, a blood bank will first test your blood and then sell it onto hospitals or medical facilities. However, if the blood bank must first buy the blood, then they have a more substantial overhead. To recoup this cost they pass some amount of the price onto the hospitals or medical centers by increasing the cost of the blood that they sell. Ultimately this means that hospitals and medical centers have less capital to work with which effects their treatment and care capacity.

My advocacy is quite superior. We should blood banks pay people because we should just require people to give blood instead. This advocacy has too amazing benefits. First, it means that blood banks don't have an overhead which they must pass onto the medical center. Thereby hospitals and medical centers will maintain a high level of care. Second, with a gauranteed supply of blood, the cost of blood will actually subtantially drop due to supply and demand economics. This means that blood will actually become less expensive for hospitals to purchase which will allow them to allocate resources towards more important issues. In the end, requiring blood not only avoids the disadvantages of my opponents advocacy, but actually promotes a substantial advantage over the status quo.

Better to Too Many Donors Than Too Few
Quite true. But my opponents advocacy does not gaurantee too many donors. It may well increase the donors, but this is not a given. The counter-advocacy, requiring blood, is more advantageous because it allows control of a dependable rate. If officials realize that we have too much or too little blood then they can just alter the rate at which people are required to give blood. With my opponents advocacy this is not true. If there is too little blood, all they can do is give more money in hopes of getting more people to donate (see my arguments about why this is a problem). If there is too much blood, they can attempt to do the inverse. But neither effect is immediate or even dependable which means that blood is either too sparse or wasted under my opponents advocacy. Under the counter advocacy we will have a near perfect supply of blood at all times.

Illegal Blood Markets Suck
This is true but my opponents case does not solve for illegal blood markets at all. As I previously mentioned, charging for blood means that the costs get pushed onto blood providers (hospitals etc...). This means that their cost of care becomes higher, in turn, which disuades people from using their service. The outcome is that impoverished people will seek other venues in which to procure care, thereby inevitably promoting the black market.

Let me explain this clearly. The reason why illegal blood markets exist is not because blood supremely expensive for a patient to acquire. In fact, when a patient receives their hospital bill, the cost of transfused blood will likely be one of their least worries. Where as a blood unit costs between $150-$250, the cost for a minor surgery can often surmount $10,000. Thus, the reason illegal blood markets exist is because the overall treatment cost is quite high. My opponent exacerbates the overall treatment cost by pushing costs onto the blood providers, which in turn actually fuels the illegal blood market.

However, my counter advocacy is 100% solvent. I decrease the cost on the providers, and since I gaurantee a blood supply, I dramatically decrease the price of blood. This kills the black market because it destroys the profit motive on two levels. Thus, the counter advocacy should be pursued in lieu of my opponents advocacy.

The Bottom Line
We should not pay people to donate blood because their is a better path forward. Requiring people to donate, is a much more solvent option. My opponent will likely try to argue that the government could just subsidize all of this, however I will win key probability arguments. Also, I have prepared some deficit argumentation if he chooses to pursue this argumentation. I look forward to his response.
Debate Round No. 2


I'm going to assume my opponent doesn't actually mean 100% donation rates because drawing blood from those with AIDs or those with low blood pressure is probably just going to kill lots of people. Only around 30% of the population in first-world countries are actually eligable to give blood, and for good reason [1]. I'll continue on this basis.

Protecting autonomy

We've learned from history not to take away autonomy for medical treatments [2]. Patient autonomy is today recognised as the first of the four principles of medical ethics [3] and legally enshrined in many bills of rights around the world, including that of my own country [4]. That's why we don't force vaccinations, for example. And in countries where things like vaccinations have been forced, like India or much of Africa - sometimes at gunpoint - more people have died fighting over whether the vaccines are dangerous or not than have actually been killed by the vaccines in those countries [5][6].

On a rights level, the question is one of ownership. Does the government own your body, or do you individually? Who decides? We're all people with different worldviews, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's why personal rights - those relating to your person - are subjective. For the government, representative of the majority, to determine what treatments your body should receive. As the preamble to the UN Declaration of Human Rights notes "Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world" - human rights are inherent to individuals, not states. The reason we have human rights and the UN itself was out of reaction to NAZI war crimes, including their forced "medical" treatments on Jewish groups and others. And it should be noted that among the horrible things the NAZIs were accused of doing in the so-called "doctor's trial" - alongside involuntary euthenasia and medical testing - was involuntary blood donation (from Russian prisoners to cure German soldiers).

Morally and philosophically, autonomy is important to protect because it puts the responsibility for the action on the patient. Taking control away from the patient - in this case, away from their blood - is a simple insult to their personhood. After all, if something goes wrong, they're the ones who have to live with the consequences, so to have to live at the mercy of another's choices - even if they agree with those choices - only serves to take away their agency, self-determination, inalienable rights to the most basic of their property (their body), and ultimately self-esteem. Human bodies are not blood harvesting tools. They are human bodies.

This is an ideal that people believe in. Even supporters of the treatment will often prefer to support autonomy. In principle, the idea of giving blood at gunpoint sounds absurd because killing you is not going to help your refusal to give blood, just like killing unvaccinated children actually makes communities less safe, not more (guns being far more deadly than disease). Yet this is exactly what compulsory blood donation is. The absurdity of this is still greater when you consider that there are legitimate reasons not to give blood. Many people contracted AIDs during blood donation drives before medical practices changed, after all. Not to mention the absurdity of forcing people at gunpoint to accurately fill in medical history forms that they usually can't verify.

Compulsory donation schemes are not new - they have a long history of populations fleeing to escape involuntary donations, like in Uganda's police [7] or China's city of Shanghai [8] - even if those same populations actually agree that giving blood is a bloody good idea [9]. Even the sense of reduced autonomy can dissuade people from giving blood [10]. Removing forced donation consistently increases the amount donated [11]. It's crowding-out - the effect that I proved last round does not happen significantly under my model gets blown way out of proportion with my opponent's.

You simply can't improve the health of communities by ignoring individuals. This is well recognised in public health research [12], in empirical data, in international law and rights analysis, and morality. Ironically, involuntary blood donation usually ends more lives than it saves. That's no good for either the donors or benefactors.

A good doctor-patient relationship is important for any well-functioning healthcare system. Would you trust a doctor to give you blood if that same doctor had previously forced you into taking your blood away? Would you trust them with other injections? For some people, they'd be OK with that. Usually those are the same people who think blood donation is alright as well. But if you are afraid of your doctor, that means diseases can go undiagnosed, health quality in populations declines, more blood is needed by hospitals to deal with illnesses, less people are healthy enough to give blood. Go figure.


It's not quite true that my opponent's system is a guarentee. That is only the case if everybody complies. The more strongly or frequently his ordinance is enforced, the less the autonomy, so the less the compliance and the bigger the problem. My system doesn't have any problems with this, since higher financial rewards do not limit rights. If more blood is needed, more can simply be paid. I'd trust in compliance from willing over unwilling people any day.

The idea that markets are unpredictable both destroys my opponent's demand-and-supply pricing model and ignores many years worth of empirical evidence that this is not the case in this market. People are reliably and predictably motivated by gaining money and autonomy.

Too expensive

Let's say 10% donated once a year and they all got paid $100. In the USA, that's a cost of about 3 billion dollars, or about $9 per person per year, which is about 0.08% of the amount of tax the federal government earns from the median person. Empirical evidence provides that people usually need much less of an incentive and that it's doubtful whether so much blood could even be handled with the current infrastructure, being around 3 times what the USA needs right now. The cost is in any event tiny. Especially when compared with the benefit. And this is all assuming a 100% subsidy so there's no loss of care quality by hospitals. Even if hospitals passed it all on to patients, as my opponent rightly points out, that cost will be the least of the patient's worries, both with and without my model.

What my opponent says about supply & demand economics is laughably false but it helps my case, since it posits that ANY increase in supply reduces price, so my model must be driving costs down as well, increasing quality of care. What he says about overheads is tragic. Testing the blood creates much more overheads than reimbursements for donation ever will. Medicine is not a question of cutting marginal costs, it's a question of improving care. If society needs to take on an extra $9 or so per person to ensure it has the healthcare it needs, I say that's better than forcing them into strange medical clinics to steal their blood. In fact, losing those $9 is a great incentive to donate blood an recoup $100, a $91 profit.

Black Markets

Black markets do not arise exclusively for economic reasons (see also my rebuttals on my opponent's odd strain of economics). They also come about for social reasons - for example, because patients are unwilling to use blood taken forcibly, and because donors are unwilling to give it forcibly. That's a problem for all the same reasons I gave you last round.


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I will address my opponent's arguments in order. He begins by arguing that I would not net a 100% rate because of people with AIDs and other maladies. This is true, I specified that the compulsory aspect would be conducted via the Red Cross. People with risky medical conditions or non-viable blood would therefor abstain.

Protecting Autonomy:
I'm afraid I don't need sources to contend with this argument. I'll point out that health insurance is required within the United States and many parts of the world, which already means the government enforces a lack of autonomy. Secondarily, within in the United States, immunizations are required within the school systems. Sex Ed is often part of a required curriculum, as well as PE, which are both infringements on health autonomy. To participate in any type of sports and many extra curriculars physicals are required. These are all instances of health autonomy being deprived which is an indication that the harms of losing autonomy are already existant within the status quo.

Additionally, I just don't care about my opponent's autonomy arguments. You should consider that we're talking about the capacity to save the lives of the thousands of people that you dileneate in the original case. Compared to that, a further lack of autonomy, which already happens is a small price to play. Additionally, autonomy arguments are not possible to quantify, which means the lives of people will always be more important. People can always come back from losing some autonomy, but they can never return from death. This argument comes down to "insult to personhood" vs. peoples' lives. The choice should be obvious.

Further on this point my opponent attempts to argue that no compulsory donations mean more blood is donated. This is patently false, as his original case articulates that we already have a blood shortage. The fact that we successfully immunize (see: erradication of polio and smallpox in U.S. and the world respectively), enforce health insurance purchaces, and moderate the health curriculum are all indications that enforcement of health is solvent within the United States. My opponent first cites a situation where police officers were fleeing because of fear of dirty needles when blood was needed a Ugandan hospital. He then cites a case in Shanghai where blood donations have gone down because the city enforces some compulsory blood donation schemes within Universties and select industries. Neither of these are a reflection of my case. First, the red cross enforces asceptic techniques and they don't allow reuse of needles. Secondarily, in the case of Shanghai, donations were likely to go down, because people view it as less necessary in a world where some compulsory element is present. In my case all people would be forced to donate (barring those with the medical conditions mentioned by the red cross) and so this would never be an issue. The source 11, cites the Shanghai instance again and points out that some people were unwilling to donate blood. However this is a faulty comparison as the article compares a partial compulsory system to a full volunteer system. Even in the later case the article articulates that not enough blood is procurred for Shanghai. My case envisions the differences between a full compulsory system and not. I have a ton of predictive arguments above about why this would work.

Finally, larz states that compulsory schemes end more lives than they save. Yes, this might be true in places like Uganda, where people literally run away for fear of contracting AIDS. In the United States, where red cross reccomendations are followed, this is not a factor. My opponent will find no evidence indicating that a compulsory scheme would end more lives then save, in contemporary society.

I previously articulated that a scheme such as this in the United States would require blood donations from a single individual less than once every 10 years. This is an indication that the frequency of the ordinance is not a concern. Additionally, I've already supplied numerous cases in which health concerns are mandated which indicate that my opponents claims are already false.

Too Expensive
So yes, my opponent is correct that my argument helps us both. Increasing the supply does mean that the cost goes down, which does hurt the black market. But my plan fills the gap for all needed blood while my opponent's would not be capable of garnering all necessary packets. This means, that in my world the black market ceases to exist, and in my opponents it doesn't.

Furthermore, the arguments I make about increasing the cost of care are pretty important when my opponent says things like, I quote, "If more blood is needed, more can simply be paid." The additional cost onto the providers of service means they raise costs on their clients which incetivizes people, with their autonomy, to go purchase their needs from the black market.

Black Markets
The black market forcibly takes blood, and does not tell people whether or not it was forcibly taken. Furthermore it's not tested for diseases which means people steer clear unless they can't afford the care anywhere else. -.-

As the red cross states, "The Red Cross never pays anyone to donate blood. Payment creates a potential incentive for prospective donors to lie about their health histories. The Red Cross draws blood only from volunteer donors. Scientific studies have proven that volunteer donors are the single greatest safeguard of the blood supply today." -

This means that giving people money to donate blood spreads AIDs and other diseases which kills more people than the status quo. Compulsory schemes don't fall prey to this phenomena because they don't offer people money.

It's difficult to attain plasma and blood matches for rare blood types which is utterly solved with my case, thus preventing deaths.

And finally, even if my opponent wins all the autonomy arguments in the world, my case still provides blood for critical blood shortages which saves people's lives. Autonomy is already illusory and rampantly disregarded, while lives are quantifiable. Tah dah! Back at my opponent.

Debate Round No. 3


Before we begin, you will note that my model is not specifically set in the USA. I made a point of including all countries from both the first and third world. For con to win a counter-model he must do more than simply show a superior model for one country. He must show a superior model for the whole planet.

Is autonomy required

My claims he doesn't care if it can't be quantified. I wonder if my opponent would care to quantify the value of his life. What, not quantifiable? Then by his logic, his life must be worthless - why should we care about anyone? But doesn't that undermine the whole point of a vaccine? If we don't care about others, why vaccinate them?

My opponent quantifies lives but not property, which is ironic because life is property - your body is property of you, as I proved last round. When government steals that property (your blood), then that's stealing from you. If you can value life, you can value autonomy.

I extended this case with moral, philosophical, ethical, historical, legal and pragmatic reasons why doctors, patients and the general public all want autonomy. This is a lot of arguments for my opponent to ignore just because he doesn't care. With that many arguments conceded against me, I think it's pretty clear there is some justification and mandate for autonomy.

Is autonomy already infringed upon

Notwithstanding the fact that all of my opponents claims about lost autonomy are false, if autonomy were important but missing, then that would be a great argument for bringing autonomy back in those areas since autonomy is so important to protect. For example, last round I cited forced vaccination in India which has led to many more deaths, and is a great reason for removing that policy.

There's a big difference between forced vaccination and requiring those who take part in high-risk activities to be vaccinated. That's what the US supreme court ruled in Jacobson v. Massachusetts [2], which has been the ruling that has stood since then (there's also a controversial patriot act provision, but the court is yet to rule on that provision). People for whom homeschool is impossible are unfairly disadvantaged by this, leading to all manner of ethical concerns by doctors and parents alike [1]. In Brazil [3], forced vaccinations created a "vaccine revolt", one of the worst riots in Brazil's history, and one of the catalysts for an even wider series of revolts.

Learning about sex and physicality is also very different from being forced to do something. Just because I know how the pill works doesn't mean I have to take it (especially since I'm a male). There's also a huge difference between physical autonomy (sport) and medical autonomy (medicine). While autonomy more generally is good to support, I'm only advocating medical autonomy in this debate.

I wouldn't call these policies successful, even within the US. Vaccination rates are more or less exactly the same today in the USA as in New Zealand [4] despite us not imposing such draconian restrictions, and other countries like Jamaica and Equador are thrashing you, also without forced vaccination laws.

Does removing autonomy reduce compliance?

Removing autonomy has NEVER increased supply of blood. Never ever. Incentives based models like mine have a proven track record. The biggest difference between con's model and mine is that mine actually works. My opponent's whole argument for superiority rests on the assumption that just because the government mandates more blood, more blood will come. I've no shortage of examples to back up my autonomy analysis proving this is not true.

In Uganda's police, blood donations ARE handled by the red cross. If con had actually read the article, he would see it was not dirty needles they were afraid of. In Shanghai, my opponent postulates that the number of students (with compulsory donations) must have gone down. I already proved folks in Shanghai WANTED to donate blood, and my opponent is ignoring all my analysis and the evidence from the articles. In fact, enrolments increased in Shanghai over the period [5].

The only true thing is that less frequency means he's not being "that bad" with autonomy. But NOT infringing autonomy is still more secure and better.


Everything my opponent says about cost is an assumption and not true. The cost is minimal, nothing should have to be passed on to providers, and cost is an issue with ANY medical operation, despite the fact not every medical operation is found on the black market. Like I proved earlier, the cost already exists.


Offering money doesn't give people AIDS - that's not where AIDS comes from. AIDS sufferers are less likely to self-select to be a blood donor, which is the basis for the red cross' assertion. Offering them money might entice more AIDS sufferers to give blood. Forced donations, where involuntary donators have all the incentives to lie on their pre-screening questions about AIDS status, are WORSE. However, I already showed, in the very first constructive round, that this is not a problem any more, since screening methods are now sufficiently advanced.

As for rare blood types, I already explained how having a money market for blood solves this. Instead mandating extra donations from minority groups is grossly unfair discrimination.


This was a strange debate. I started with the burden of proof, but then con pushed the burden on to themselves by running a counter-model and conceeding mine. There's only one issue - did con prove his crazy theory that all people are sheeple - mindless followers of the divine mandate of their governments in all aspects regarding their life, their body, and the treatments it receives? Think of your own life. Do you trust all the governments of the world completely? Would you if they held you at gunpoint and stole your blood?

For myself - and probably for most people, given my empirical evidence - the answer is a resounding no. We want and need personal medical autonomy. Any solution that increases incentives without reducing autonomy will be successful - and vice versa. My opponents model will fail.

The resolution is affirmed.


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Overview: How to evaluate this debate
My opponent argues that this debate should be evaluated to the extent of the entire world. That's fine. However, as a judge you're weighing two hypothetical world's against each other. On one hand, my opponent advocates for a world in which blood providers pay people to donate. On the other hand, I advocate for a world in which donors are required to donate under law.

The easiest way to evlaute the winner of this debate, is by examing the arguments for and against each world. I will delineate them subsequently.

Autonomy vs. Life
The initial mechanism for evaluating this round has to be a comparison of impacts. The impact calculus, in this case, comes down to Autonomy vs. Life. Thus far, there is no argument in this debate saying that life is not valuable, both my opponent and I agree that it is. However, I previously argued that autonomy is not nearly as valuable as life. My argument is quite intuitive I believe; autonomy is not a black and white issue. Autonomy happens in shades of grey, for instance you can lose some autonomy but still maintain more autonomy. Life on the other hand is quite a clear cut issue, either you have life or you don't. Life is also irreversible, that is to say, once you die you can no longer regain life. But once you lose autonomy, you can always regain autonomy.

My opponent tries to avoid this stark contrast by arguing that life is a form of property, and therefor, by extension so is your blood. I'm unconcerned by this new twist in the autonomy arguements. Blood is indeed a form of your property but it is rapidly regenerable and so you as an individual face only a transient lose. Think about the comparison between blood as property and money as property. If someone steals your money, you do not regain the money, and so you must expend time and labor to replace the deficit. If someone steals your blood, your body continues to regenerate it (as it always does) and so you have to expend nothing. If money was like blood, nobody would care to have their money stolen. This makes the autonomy/blood property arguments quite inconsequential to this debate. Life is a far greater impact, and the possibility to save lives via requiring blood is a much more net beneficial than not.

Autonomy Lost
On autonomy lost I think my opponent has slightly misunderstood my intent. The argument I'm making is a simple one. I'm demonstrating that autonomy functions in shades of grey. In the United States, specifically, I cite many instances where autonomy is routinely missing. This of course is even more prevalent in many third world nations. My opponent tries to argue that there is a huge difference between instances of physical autonomy and instances of medical autonomy. To do so he examines the different impacts. But this is my point, autonomy is not intrinsically valuable, because it is always missing to some extent. In order to evlaute autonomy you must examine the real world impacts of depriving autonomy. Which is why life is a much more specific and greater impact than 'autonomy' could ever be.

So in the context of this debate, what do these arguments mean? It means, that in order to evaluate my opponents case the critic should examine the impacts of lost autonomy. The fact that autonomy is lost is inconsequential because autonomy is lost and gained all the time. The outcomes of that loss or gain is what matters.

More Or Less Blood
Luckily I dont need to deal with this argument in order to win the debate. However, my opponents argument is not true. In the case of Uganda, blood donations were spontaneously required from the police to save numerous dying patients in a hospital. The situation was unique because Uganda has one of the highest rates of HIV world wide. They also have prevalent concerns about Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C [1]. My opponent asserts that Uganda goes throug the red cross but this isn't true. Uganda blood transfusions work through the Ugandan Blood Transfussion Service (UBTS) which is a semi-autonomous organization. While the UBTS does work with the red cross in many instances, they are not the red cross, and the blood situation in Uganda is still unstable [1]. My plan is solvent on this front because it plants the red cross as firmly in control, they have a proven track record in this regard. My opponent's is not, he changes nothing about the current situation from a medical perspective. He just gives money. Furthermore, my opponent's article is not an instance of a global blood mandate from the government, it is an example of the police force in one city spontaneously requiring 30 officers to donate. My plan would involve the government mandating that all blood banks follow red cross procedures and would originate from a national evel. This would give people in Uganda, who are scared of unclean blood, much greater confidence which would increase doncations.

The second instance my opopnent cited was the situation in Shanghai. However, this is not even remotely applicable to my case. My advocating that all citizens of all countries (excluding special cases) be mandated to donate blood. The situation in Shanghai was that only people affiliated with select universities and industrial facilities were mandated to give blood. After the mandate went into effect, blood received actually declined, and so my opponent concluded that mandates must decrease blood supply. That isn't true. Imagine for a moment the same situation happening in the United States. Right now we get donations from about 3% of the population. If the government, tomorrow, mandated that all government employees give blood what would the result be? Obviously those people would give blood. However, the 3% of the population that normally donates blood would not donate as much. Why? Because they perceive that the blood shortage is being solved by the government mandate. This is why partial mandates don't work! Either you have to mandate the entire population (excluding special cases) gives blood or not. If the government only mandates a subset, then the normal donor base will decline because they will perceive a lesser need. Thus, the Shanhai case does not apply to a global mandate.

The Winning Argument
The debate comes down to impact calculus, if I can prove more lives are lost under my opponents advocacy then I win. I can do so. Consider my lone source from last round. My opponent asserts that screening methods are now sufficiently advanced to combat unclean blood. But that's not what the red cross, the premier blood organization in the world, has to say. They state that the most effective screening tool in their arsenal is donor self-screening. Even in the U.S., the most advanced blood screening society in the world, some HIV infected blood is not detected via advanced red cross chemical screening [2]. In third world countries, self admittance is therefor even more important.

This is why my opponents plan kills a lot of people. In The United States giving people money to donate blood might not result in that many fatalities. Some people with transmittable diseases will likely sign up to donate blood for the money, and most of that blood will be caught. But in 3rd world countries (which my opponent demands I account for) the outcome is not as rosy. Especially in impoverished populations, the easy capacity to acquire capital will attract most all people with blood transmittable diseases. The inferior technology will be unable to compensate for this, and so many many people will die.

However, my plan utterly solves this problem. I specify that exemptions will be made for people as per Red Cross recommendations. Without the profit motive, people with diseases will self-screen and report their blood malady. Meaning my plan saves thousands and potentially millions of lives as compared to my opponent's.

Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Dickmonster69 3 years ago
Well, if you got people to pay for it, technically you wouldn't be donating it would you?
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
Depends where in the world you live. Most countries it's illegal.
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
You guys do know that there are places you can go already that pay you to donate blood, yeah? Not the Red Cross, obviously, since the appeal of it is the most to the people the Red Cross wants it from the least, but it's really strange to have a debate on this subject without ever addressing the fact that this is something that already happens...
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
... is a far less vital blow. While it may be the case that donator honesty is the best method of ensuring non-tainted blood is donated, much of this problem can be solved through thorough testing. That's not to say that this is a trivial problem, but at the very least it's not enough for me to throw out Pro's proposition entirely, unlike Con's.

As such, I vote this debate in favour of Pro.
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
I hate giving such 1-sided votes, but I think Pro honestly deserves each of them. Firstly, Pro smokes Con in sourcing, both with more numerous sources and in their impact. I'm also granting spelling and grammar to Pro as Con frequently missed and misused punctuation (apostrophes, commas, etc), misused words (e.g. "too" instead of "two") and sometimes left words out entirely, forcing me to make a guess at what he's trying to say.

On to arguments...

Pro's position seems reasonable prima facie. Con certainly had the more difficult position of poking holes in something that comes off as a common-sense solution, but he made this debate harder on himself by offering an alternative that seems UNreasonable prima facie. This was an odd tactic, because whatever hang-ups I initially had for Pro's position is now dwarfed by my hang-ups for Con's. This shifts the BoP onto Con, which was his biggest advantage coming into this debate.

Since he's put forth an alternative, I've decided the winner of this debate based on the holes poked in each other's positions. Pro gave real-world examples of compulsory blood donations not only failing, but completely backfiring, while Con failed to give any examples of his proposed system actually working. For me, this alone is enough to take Con's proposition off the table were this a debate that would have a real world impact. Autonomy aside (an argument I view to be in favour of Pro also, btw), if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. End of story.

The strongest argument against Pro's side that I see is one Con pulled from the Red Cross themselves about the fear of people lying about their "blood quality" in order to get monetary compensation for donating. This argument doesn't actually require Con's counter proposal, so his argument would have been much stronger had he nixed those contentions and stuck to things like this. The problem is, while Pro's counter arguments completely sink Con's position, this argument...
Posted by GeekiTheGreat 4 years ago
But then it wouldn't be donating.
Posted by Yraelz 4 years ago
Ooooo, autonomy. =) Round three is going to be sweet.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.