Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Give Blood, Drive Longer

A letter writer to the Daily Tele, John Cody of East Epping, came up with this novel idea to solve the blood shortage at the Red Cross:

An incentive where each time you gave blood, your driver's license could be recredited a demerit point for a donation.

His reasoning was that you didn't have to be a complete ratbag to lose demerit points, with all the signs there were around on the streets etc, so it was a win-win set up, with driver's getting back there demerit points and the Red Cross getting their blood.

Now, I'm just thinking, that sounds good - to begin with.

Of course, the first thing - or probably the first thing - that pops into your mind - is "Why do I want some idiot hoon who can't drive being able to stay longer on the road simply because someone stuck a needle into his vein?" But of course you are reassured that it's not because the driver is an idiot hoon, it's because of all those signs and school zones and stuff. I'll bet you John Cody's lost a few demerit points in his time.

But then there's some other points to consider - pardon the pun.

If you HADN'T lost any demerit points that year, and you gave blood, would you get any credit? Could you get credit points on your license? And if this campaign - the demerit-points/blood-giving thing was heavily marketed, and no credit points could be had ...

Then would it mean people would stop giving until they had lost a demerit point and then just give in order to win them back. You could end up losing donors instead of winning them.

What's more, people who don't drive cars at all, or do so infrequently, might think that they have nothing much to gain from the whole process, and that the Red Cross doesn't value them as donors as they are pitching the whole campaign in favour of drivers instead of treating each donor as a valuable person and treating their gift equally. They may lose those donors too.

We might even get people being that little bit more careless on the roads because they think they can afford to - they 're going to be donating blood soon.

In general, I don't mind campaigns or causes which give favours to people if I feel those people deserve or are in need of extra help - people which give student concessions, assistance to the elderly or disabled, single mother help or daycare - that's cool. It's singling people out for special treatment because they've broken road rules that I feel somewhat repulsive. Surely there must be some way to get more people energetic about donating blood - though I can't think what.

There seem to be so many things governing whether you can or cannot donate blood.

I know some people who pass all the rules for donating blood but are still basically told not to - one is borderline on the weight category, and another, even though she is around about the right weight, still faints each time she gives blood (for some reason) so has stopped donating for her own health and safety reasons.

1 comment:

JahTeh said...

Anyone on anti-depressant medication or tranquilizers can't donate which means I'm out even though it's a very small dose. It's a shame as I have a rare blood group.