Skip to comments.How much is too much? (Vanity)
Posted on 09/14/2013 2:37:12 PM PDT by zeugma
My apologies for the vanity, but I figured a rant here might just get this out of my system.
I went to Carter Bloodcare today to give my regular blood donation. Those of you who've done this know that there is a bunch of handouts that they make you read through each time that goes over people who cannot give blood. Folks with AIDS are one obvious category, but there are a bunch of others. It will also have a list of medications, that if you are taking will make you ineligible to donate blood. I've given almost 5 gallons over the past many years, so I'm familiar with all this. However, this time it's a little bit different.
Before we get to the normal several pages worth of handouts that you're supposed to read through, that I've pretty much memorized by now, they hand me a sheet the call a "Donor Notification" form. Since this is something new, I start reading through it, and discover it is a "notification that they are going to want to be doing a lot more stuff with my blood than just use it to help people who are sick. They have the usual disclaimers about 'testing', which I figure is reasonable. You have to test the stuff to make sure that you're not giving someone Hep-b or something worse if they get your blood. In addition to testing though, they also advise that they will be using your blood for research in many different ways. Of course, they tell you that what you give is 'anonymous' to these 'researchers', but anyone who actually believes that any of this can possibly actually be 'anonymous' will believe that the NSAs primary mission is to assist the Tooth Fairy in locating clients. They go on a bit about how important it is for possibly coming up with new cures and medications. Bottom line is, they want to use me and my blood to do whatever the hell they want to do with nothing more than a blanket consent by me to go ahead and have at it.
Reading through this, I told the lady at the reception desk "no". She gave me this blank look like it was a word she was completely unfamiliar with, so I told her just to give me whatever form they have to opt out of that, because I just want to give blood to help people who might need it. I didn't add that I wasn't particularly interested in assisting yet another example of corporate/government bureaucrats attempting to force us to comply with their wishes, desires, or agendas regardless of what our interests might actually be.
Did I use the word 'force'? Why yes I did. You see, when I asked for an 'opt out' form, it was as if I'd suddenly grown two heads. You see, if you're not willing to cooperate with whatever other stuff it is that they want to do with your blood besides provide it to people with critical needs, then they don't want it.
Hmmmmm. So, let me get this straight. An organization that is constantly claiming to need a supply of blood to help those in need simply isn't interested in taking the blood from someone who freely, regularly and willingly takes the time and effort to come to them to do so at regular intervals without significant compensation. Remember before I mentioned 5 gallons? Well, it takes a while to reach that level, and that's only 5 gallons with them, which doesn't count my donations in other places prior to having started going to them.
I would think that regular donors would be the life-bloood (sorry) of an organization such as theirs. Apparently I'm confused about some part of this, because frankly I'm dumbfounded, and more than just a little bit pissed off.
The nice lady at the desk gave me a card with the phone number of someone to contact about this. I called and left a message, because of course whomever it is isn't manned on the weekends.
Bottom line for me is that I'm not playing their little games any more. Everybody wants some piece of me, from my grocery store all the way up to the slimy bastards in the government who think it's just fine to read my email. I'm getting more than just a little sick of it all, and I'll tell you this: I ain't giving blood any more until they realize that perhaps I have interests of my own as well and provide a method to opt out of their schemes.
One reason this upsets me as much as it does, as I've considered for years that donating blood was one of those small things that I could do as a healthy guy that could maybe make a big difference in someone else's life.
Not only am I angry, I'm sad at what is happening to the world I live in.
Thanks for letting me rant. I feel a little better. Thanks JR for providing me a hook to hang this rant on!
Going further they can run your DNA to see if you’re a criminal on the loose, or something. All in the name of “testing” the blood.
I also refuse to allow any organ donation. When I croak, he whole kit and kaboodle goes up in flames.
Of course, I have no way of knowing. But I suspect that these guys may already have been using donor blood for various purposes, including experimentation or—who knows?—cloning, or other questionable purposes.
If so, then it’s likely that somebody sued them, and their lawyers told them that they had to change the forms to cover all the bases.
I haven’t donated in a long time. Back when I was in college and almost broke, I would often give plasma donations and get paid about $8. I’m guessing the blood industry is gambling that there will be enough people in my category ( healthy, but temporarily low on funds) who will give consent and sufficient blood donations. Be glad they didn’t handle your Opt Out decision the way TSA people will do, get rude, verbally abusive and combative. That may come in a few more years.
Your blood is kind of like your cash, once you give it to somebody they can do what they want. If you don’t like their list of things they’ll be doing with it don’t give it to them. But it is kind of silly to expect them to set your blood into some “only these activities” pool, that’s a lot of additional paperwork, and what if nobody needs your kind of blood? And as for all those other activities as not “helping” well how do you think they keep the doors open? Selling blood not needed for the usual stuff for other stuff.
First of all - thank you for being a blood donor. It makes a big difference. I too have given quite a bit of blood over the years, and yes - it gets frustrating when the paperwork and the “stuff” just gets deeper and longer.
But I would like to throw out a POSSIBLE scenario based on my own experience -
A couple of times in my donation history, there have been “issues” - both times were the result of bad sticks. The first one was while I was in college a couple of decades back, the second about 6 years ago...
The first time, they collected about a half of the “pint” they normally take. The second time there was a bad stick - they got a bit less than that. What I was told then (American Red Cross) was that they cannot, by regulations, use partial donations directly for transfusions and similar whole-blood uses. Instead, it goes to research or to the manufacture of medications. That way it doesn’t get “wasted” (which is the case if they couldn’t use it for that).
There is a possibility that the organization you donate to has done the same for years - but found it necessary for whatever reason to give legal notice (people are lawsuit happy and conspiracy happy these days).
And no - I am not trying to put you in the above categories - but just throwing out a possible scenario. I cannot speak for the bunch you donate too.
I don’t think you’re making a mountain. Glad you made the phone call and I’m interested to see if they’ll call you back and what their reasoning might be.
I think you're being a tad paranoid here. Why go to the bother and expense of tracking the identity of each donor? What difference could it make to any researchers?
I hear you and will be more detailed about my reading when I go to donate this coming week. While understanding and appreciating your viewpoint, it is the inelastic need for blood for my fellow citizens that has motivated my many year donation effort, hard to believe but 114 gals. with pheresis credits.
Yet, as you point out, the uncomfortable aspects of what POTENTIALLY can be done with our donation is a real thing. Mixed feelings here, something for me to think about as well. Thanks for your past donations and this post.
You are not making a mountain out of a molehill.
I used to give a lot of blood too, especially because I have a rare type and hope someone will be there for me if I ever need it. My dad had a type of bone marrow/blood cancer and needed massive transfusions in the year before he died and I was thankful and relieved that enough blood was found to help him (same type as me, had to be searched for all over Southern California). I was only able to donate for him once, unfortunately.
That type of paperwork has been out for years - about “your blood may be used for research purposes” — never thought about it much, as far as the government spying on us, etc. I’ve gotten this even during blood drives over holiday seasons when types like mine were advertised as “desperately needed.”
I don’t trust this government on any single issue and believe they’re spying on us and categorizing us as they see fit — as possible “enemies of the state” and all that, and I wouldn’t put it past them to use our blood for DNA profiles, etc.
Yes, something to think about and ponder. Don’t let your guard down ever.
Someone like you saved my life in 1995 by donating blood.
I am sorry for your hassle but what you do actually means a lot.
The woman’s response may have also been something she was trained to do. It’s that technique for making a resistor feel isolated - a nutball paranoid extremist - as if you were the only one to take issue with the forms. It being human nature for most people to want to get along and not be the unwanted center of controversy... surely the little game improves compliance.
Schools are known to pull those stunts. E.g. parents show up demanding answers to an outrageous psych survey on their kids or some such over-the-top intrusion, and the school admin feigns shock at the response. “Oh my, you are the only parents who have complained...” Yeah, the only parents in the past five minutes to complain.
Well even if this woman truly were surprised at your response, it just exposes the arrogance of these draculas that all they should have to do is create a form, and the donors will automatically accept any new terms and conditions.
Of course with obamacare incoming like an apocalyptic asteroid, undermining and destroying the blood supply would be an expected goal. Passive death panels.
As I said in my previous post (#12), I have mixed feelings on this topic, but I do believe that your response might be a little naive. When you get down to genetic research, EVERYTHING about the source cells is important. If there is an antibody that is of interest, lots of personal info could be needed to see where and why the exposure created it.
Worse still, is the truly OMNIVOROUS appetite for data that the coming Obamacare health databases seem to desire. If they want emotional and other such ephemeral data, blood research data would definitely be there. Master database, personal data, bribable government drone and what is worse, credit data stolen or health data that could be genetic which colors an entire family line?
Just those things to think on that are provoked by this topic!
If you want to donate blood that will be used to help other people, donate through the Red Cross - NOT a blood bank.
I have been employed for 40 years by a company that specializes in Blood. Blood that is donated to a Blood Bank IS used for many different things. The blood is often fractionated, i.e., centrifuged into its component parts - White Cells, Platelets, Red Cells, Plasma etc.
These component parts are then used for various therapies and in the manufacture of medicines.
The Red Cross will Wash your blood donation so that it can be frozen and stored for long term use. Washing involves centrifuging the blood and mixing it with Glycerol which allows it to be frozen. When the blood is required for an operation, the blood is thawed and re-centrifuged to remove the Glycerol.
If you are concerned about WHERE your donation is going, I would donate strictly to the Red Cross.
In years past I was a regular donor. Almost 4 gallons. It felt good to be helping others in need and it made me fell physically better.
Then the wheels turned and Mad Cow came around and because I had spent more than 6 months in a particular country I was deemed a possible carrier of spongiform encephalopathy was told I couldn't donate any more.
I fought it for a while and was as irritated as you are now but have gotten over it.
Their initial charter with blood donation was admirable, but now they dont care about helping others. Plain and simple. Its all about the $$$$.
So.... They dont get my blood (AB-) and they cant have any of my organs either.
"I told the lady at the reception desk "no". She gave me this blank look like it was a word she was completely unfamiliar with,
I think you may have spotted part of the problem with todays society.
Every vial and bag is bar coded. Cradle to grave, they know.
Me and a whole bunch of other folks are banned because we spent more than a year in Europe during the 80’s. Because we *may* have been exposed to mad-cow at the Army chow-hall or a schnell-imbiss or whatever...
and they can give the gummint a record of yer blood type
If so, then its likely that somebody sued them, and their lawyers told them that they had to change the forms to cover all the bases.
Agreed. That's one of the things I was thinking earlier as well. I guess it was just the in-your-face nature of it that I just couldn't stomach.
Ha! These days they don't even do that. You get "credits" at an online store that let you get tshirts and such. It's a bit if a scam for them, as they charge quite a bit to hospitals for the donated blood they receive, but I don't really mind that. It's a business. They've just reached a point now that I don't think I can continue to do business with them.
If they can't deal with having a checkbox that I don't want to participate in other things I didn't give my consent for, then there is no deal. Pretty simple really.
As for thanks, you're quite welcome but to me, its really just something that I consider to be 'the least I can do', since I'm healthy, and there is no alternative in some cases for folks than having real human blood.
Unless you are giving blood directly to the hospital, then you are giving blood for free, which is then sold for hundreds of dollars.
Red Cross and other donation locations that are “independent” are “for profit.” Don’t let them kid you. They sell to the highest bidder.
Yup. Also, the medical industry has gone as far as attempting to patent the DNA and other things that were donated to them in programs like this.
I read a story a while back about a fellow in Australia that had a really weird blood type, that could be used with infants. He was apparently the sole source world-wide for whatever it was that was in his blood. I can't recall if they've been able to synthesise it artificially, but he was single-handedly responsible for tens of thousands if not more, of saved lives. If they did, I would question whether or not he should have been compensated for it.
Also, as stated previously on the thread, every single vial is barcoded. They'll know exactly where it came from if they want to.
I figured I'd look the fellow up. Looks like I mistated the impact this guy had. From wikipedia:
James Harrison, OAM, also known as the Man with the golden arm, is a blood plasma donor from Australia whose unusual plasma composition has been used to make a treatment for Rhesus disease. He has made over 1000 donations throughout his lifetime, and these donations are estimated to have saved over two million unborn babies from the condition.
I found out my local hospital charges $4,000 a pint bag for blood. I still give blood though, makes me feel like superman the rest of the day. My last time on the table I pumped out a pint in 6 minutes, hehe. My friend had 7 stiches in his hand and went to the above hospital, he got a 3,700 dollar bill. We made a pact to stich ourselves up from now on, thank you very much.
I was a regular blood donor (rare type BTW) before & after 9-11-01. Ate my first Chick Fil-A with a coupon the Red Cross gave me for my 9-11 donation.
That was long AFTER I had been stationed in Germany 1981-83.
Been disqualified for years now due to `mad cow exposure’. Sucks.
It’s “intended” purpose is whatever they want to do with it. Once you give it to them it’s theirs, they can give to people that need blood in their body, or their test tubes, their call not yours. This isn’t about negotiating terms, it’s about ownership, once you buy that car it’s yours to do with as you please, the dealer has no say in the matter. It’s not just about having a checkbox, it’s then a matter of tracking, they’d have to track the blood and make sure it was used according to the checkbox. It might be simple, but it’s wasted effort because it’s not your blood anymore and what you want to have happen to it doesn’t matter anymore.
I realize your brushing off of the “thanks” is because you see it as a reasonable expectation - but many many people don’t see it that way. A very small percentage of the population make regular blood donations. A very small increase in the number of donors would increase the blood supply to a point that we likely wouldn’t have to hear the please for blood during those “peak” times.
I’m not sure about the need for consent on partial draws (or even full donations), unless that is a policy change (or regulation change). One might make an argument that such an organization that you donate blood too SHOULD at least let you know that blood products might be used for other purposes than those we normally associate with said donations.
As far as the separate vials - over the years, it has increased from one, to two, and the last time I donated, I believe there were three vials attached to the collection bag that were also filled. When I ask, they said that they all are for testing purposes. But as always, YMMV
Mad Cow exposure???? YOu’ve got to be kidding!!!! 30 YEARS after the fact? I believe you are WAY beyond any conceivable incubation period!
They have to, at least to a point. First - because of the extensive battery of testing done on the blood samples (those attached vials) for AIDS, Hepatitis, etc.) but also, sort of like a serial number in case something comes up later.
Me, too - although my service was early 90s. And I’m O-negative.
Just checked their eligibility list. Stationed in Germany more than six months during 1980-1990 means “no go”. Apparently there is a human-invasive strain of mad cow disease. Given the last two presidential elections there may be something to that.
But just wait, sooner or later the faggies are going to go to the head of the donation line. PC is a powerful thing.
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