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Health Ministry: Blood donation is voluntary
Hoang Nhung
Thursday,  Jan 12, 2017,20:59 (GMT+7)

Health Ministry: Blood donation is voluntary

Hoang Nhung

HCMC – The Ministry of Health said it would opt for plan two in a draft law on blood and stem cells, meaning blood donation is voluntary and that spending on blood donation campaigns will be increased. 

The first plan in the draft law states that blood donation is compulsory and that citizens must donate blood once a year but some people can be immune from this regulation. This plan has sparked controversy as it would amount to a violation of the Constitution.

Those tasked with drafting the law said blood donation is made compulsory to make sure there will be sufficient blood for emergencies.

Many countries plan to issue blood donation, blood transfusion and blood trading prohibition laws to cope with blood shortfalls and ensure the safety of blood transfusions. Therefore, Vietnam should issue a law on blood and stem cells.

However, those laws do not stipulate that blood donation is a must for citizens.

The Health Ministry said it would go for plan two in the draft law as it suits the conditions in Vietnam and international practices, and does not cause an unnecessary waste for the State and society.

Associate Professor Nguyen Hoai Nam of the cardiology department at University Medical Center HCMC told the Daily that healthy people could donate blood two to three times a year. Giving blood stimulates the body to produce red and white blood cells. However, Nam stressed blood donation should be voluntary.

Lawyer Nguyen Van Hau, chairman of the Vietnam Lawyers’ Commercial Arbitration Center, said compulsory blood donation violates the legitimate rights of citizens and runs counter to the 2013 Constitution.

Hau said blood donation is a humanitarian act, so there is no reason to force it by law. He said there are many ways to encourage people to give blood on a voluntary basis.

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