Thursday, February 09, 2006

Question: Is it moral to donate (sell) plasma?

I donated plasma today, and it was not too bad! Just very cold. Of course when I say "donated" I basically mean "sold," since they pay you for your time and bodily fluids. And I'm feeling kind of bleh. I'm going to give the money ($25) to charity since I'm not too sure about the morality of "donating" (that is, selling) plasma. I know the Church is against selling organs, but I'm not sure if this is quite the same thing, since plasma regenerates fairly quickly in the body. It does go to a FOR-profit corporation, and they use it to make medicines. I googled until my brain seeped out my ears, but I couldn't find out if the Church has a specific teaching on the subject. Do any of my readers have any information?

One of my friends gets a $10 bonus if I go at least two times, and I kind of told her I would, long before it even occurred to me that there might be a moral dimension to the issue. So I'm going to go once more, unless I hear that the Church's teaching frowns on it. I'll get another $25. That's $50 to whatever charity I can think of. I just got one of those fundraising- letters- disguised- as-a-thank-you from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I love sending them donations, I always feel like I've just blown a little kiss to the Blessed Mother. Any other worthy causes you can think of?


  1. It's against church teaching to sell organs? What about donating them after death??

  2. Donating organs after death (or even before death, if you've got two - you can donate a kidney if you've still got one to live off of, etc) is aok! In fact, it's perfectly in line with the Church's teaching about charity. It's just selling organs that's a no-no, because the sick people who need them are dying and you would be profiting off their desperate condition.

    Actually, Pope Benedict himself is an organ donor, although he once said that he doubted anyone would want his organs since he was already so old :)

  3. Catholic Culture is a great Catholic resource and is need of financial help. Check them out.

    I don't think your intention is to sell your plasma but but to donate it. It just so happens that they give you a stipend for coming in. Besides, if the stipend is to be given to charity, then I don't see anything morally wrong there. You've gained nothing out of the goodness of your heart. Ergo, you are performing an act of charity.

  4. I'm not a moral theologian, but I think St Peter's Helpers are correct.
    The Church is quite okay with people donating blood and so on as it is motivated by a charitable purpose. The fact that a stipend is given should not cause you any scruples. I could only see it as being a problem if you were donating plasma strictly or primarily for economic reasons, particularly if you were doing so to such an extent as to damage your health.