Canadians think that pay-for-plasma is “morally appropriate.”
Original press release at Donation Ethics
A significant majority of Canadians (63%) believed that paying Canadians for plasma donations was “morally appropriate.”
By age, 18-34 year-olds were the most likely to believe that pay-for-plasma was “morally appropriate,” with 75% saying so. 70% of 35-54 year-olds, and 49% of those 55 or older thought pay-for-plasma was morally appropriate.
By region, 64% of Atlantic Canada, 69% in Quebec, 61% in Ontario, 70% in the Prairies, 65% in Alberta, and 56% in British Columbia held that opinion.
The provinces of Ontario (2014), Alberta (2017), and British Columbia (2018) have all recently banned pay-for-plasma citing moral objections as part of the motivation behind the prohibitions, despite the views of residents within each province. Most recently, an attempt to introduce a federal ban in the Senate was stalled when the Committee assigned to investigate the proposed legislation voted unanimously to reject the Bill.
Canada is currently dependent on paid plasma from the U.S. and Europe, with over 70% of our plasma medicine made with source plasma from paid donors. This includes the above-mentioned provinces that banned paid plasma.
These findings are consistent with similar findings from earlier polls.
Canadian Blood Services conducted an internal poll through Ipsos that found that seven-in-10 Canadians between the ages of 18-34 said it “would be acceptable to pay people for their plasma,” according to a Globe and Mail story. Canadian Blood Services did not release the details of their poll saying that they were proprietary.
Economists Nicola Lacetera and Mario Macis also found that 72.6% of Canadians were in favour of compensating plasma donors, with a sample size of 826 (95% c.i. 66.4%-78.8%). Those results were published as “Moral NIMBY-ism?” in 2018 in the journal Law and Contemporary Problems.
This online study was conducted by Campaign Research between April 3 to April 6 through an online survey of 2,035 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of Maru/Blue’s online panel Maru Voice Canada and were provided with various incentives to respond. The panelists were selected to reflect Canada’s age, gender and regional distributions in line with 2016 Statistics Canada census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.
The results have been weighted by education, age, gender, and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population according to 2016 Census data. Certain areas or groups may be oversampled but have been weighted to reflect their proportion of Canada’s population. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada.