Blood is a sensitive topic in Canada, and rightly so. About 30,000 Canadians were unknowingly infected with HIV and hepatitis C during the 1980s from tainted blood and plasma they had been assured was safe.
Thousands of lives were cut short. Infected blood, purchased from disreputable sources, including derelicts on U.S. skid rows, was at the root of the problem. A resulting inquiry led by Justice Horace Krever urged significant efforts to ensure that blood products used in Canada are made from the blood and plasma of unpaid donors.
It makes sense. People who voluntarily give the gift of blood — motivated by altruism instead of financial reward — present a safer source than those who are down-and-out and reduced to selling their bodily fluids.
Read the full article on The Star web site.