sale ” sol levin founded plasma international B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
Case 2.3 “Blood for Sale”
Sol Levin founded Plasma International. He recognized the profit in selling safe and uncontaminated blood. Business was going smoothly until Tampa paper exposed the purchase price of the blood and how much it was being resold for. Blood marketing is nothing new in the U.S. However, an important study compared and contrasted it to the National Health Service in Great Britain which relies on a voluntary system of blood donation. Economist Richard Titmuss argues that commercialized blood market is wasteful of blood and plagued by shortages. Philosopher Peter Singer has elaborated this point and has established a conflict between financial incentives and moral or altruistic conduct in other areas.
- Is Sol Levin running a business “just like any other business,” or is his company open to moral criticism? Defend your answer by appeal to moral principle.
- Did Plasma International strike a fair bargain with the West Africans who supplied their blood to the company? Or is Plasma guilty of exploiting them in some way? Explain your answer.
- What are the contrasting ideals of the British and U.S. blood systems? Which system, in your opinion, better promotes human freedom and respect for people? Which system better promotes the supply of blood?
- Examine the pros and cons of commercial transactions in blood from the egoistic, the utilitarian, and the Kantian perspectives.
- Are Titmuss and Singer correct to suggest that the buying and selling of blood reduces altruism? Does knowing that you can sell your blood (and that others are selling theirs) make you less inclined to donate your blood?
- Singer suggests that although the right to sell blood does not threaten the formal right to give blood, it is incompatible with “the right to give blood, which cannot be bought, which has no cash value, and must be given freely if it is to be obtained at all.” Assess that idea. Is there such a right?
- Many belive that commercialization is increasing in all areas of modern life. If so, is it something to be applauded or condemned? Is it wrong to treat certain things- such as human organs- as commodities?
- Do you believe that we have a moral duty to donate blood? If so, why and under what circumstances? If not, why not?
- 2-3 pages, not including title or reference pages.
- APA writing style must be used for all formatting. (Double-spacing required)
- Please see the “Case Analysis Rubric” below for specific grading details.