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Volume 29 • Number 3

July 2015



Why Policies That Aim at National Self-Sufficiency in Blood and Blood Products Are (Usually) Unethical

by James S. Taylor

For the past few years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has exhorted its member countries to become self-sufficient in blood and blood products (BBP). These exhortations have been heeded, and today, many countries of the United Nations have self-sufficiency in BBP as a stated goal of their health care systems. Yet despite the almost universal acceptance of national self-sufficiency in BBP as a desirable goal, there has been almost no philosophical discussion of whether this policy should be pursued. This is unfortunate, for this policy would be likely to lead to a wasteful use of limited health care resources, which would in turn be likely to lead to worse health care outcomes for the populations of the countries thus affected. As such, it will be argued in this paper that many countries should not attempt to become self-sufficient in BBP.

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ISSN: 2152-0542