My friend wants to sell her plasma because she is a poor college student and needs the money. My question is if it is morally acceptable or not. Some considerations are that it is immoral to sell body parts, but does plasma count? It is renewable, unlike kidneys or hearts, so does that make a difference? Thoughts?
Yes, it is.
It is moral, and in many cases life saving. Why would it be immoral?
Selling plasma, or selling hair, or even selling one’s labor, is morally neutral. Selling a renewable resource is not like selling a bodily organ, which can not be regrown.
I do, however, object to people who say they are “donating plasma” if they are actually selling it. Most blood banks will allow you to donate plasma, instead of donating whole blood. Donating plasma simply takes longer, which is why many donors choose not to do so. The relative shortage of plasma is why some companies will pay individuals for their plasma.
I myself would not do it, unless I was really desperate. It just does not feel right… however,… I think one might be hard pressed to demonstrate that this is a sin. I was not aware that it was a lengthy process. If so… then it might be providing an important service to donate or yes even to sell it.
I looked at this thread for quite a while before responding, because I could not make up my mind. Then I started thinking how we can be paid in medical studies which are helpful in medicine.
Just an FYI…
Donating plasma for money is more time-consuming than donating blood because it takes around 2 hours from start to finish, and you are being compensated for your time as much as you are being compensated for the plasma you provide.
Here is a safe link to a lot more detailed information -
They’re not paying you for your plasma, they are compensating you for your time.
I’m a plasma donor. My father’s life was saved on multiple occasions from plasma donations.
I go to our local donation center 2x a week (the max you are allowed to do). I go before work each day, arriving around 6AM and leaving between 8:00 and 8:30 to arrive at work at 9AM. Each donation takes between 2-2.5 hours, depending on how quickly they can find a vein. That means I’m there between 16 and 20 hours a month to donate.
If I make my 2 donations a week every week, I’m looking at a maximum compensation of $2800 a year, and spend roughly 400 hours at the donation center. Sometimes my pulse is too high, or my iron levels are too low, and I’m deferred. I don’t get paid for the hour I’m there on those trips.
I don’t spend 400 hours a year hooked up to machines and being poked because I want $2800. I do it because I know it saves lives.
Here is a great, short article on it from National Catholic Register: ncregister.com/blog/mark-shea/blood-donation-is-good ~ It’s actually about blood donations, but I’m sure plasma also falls within the same category.
Thanks for providing this information. I have considered doing this before but worried that it seemed seedy or exploitative. In my case the compensation would be very welcome, but I like that I would be able to be of service to others as well.