I can't overemphasize the risk this misuse of blood products represents to healthcare systems around the world. This is an anti-vax movement waiting to happen: "Billionaires looking for a fountain of youth get blood transfusions from young bucks? WTF?" blends easily into "Why should I donate blood if they're just going to sell it to billionaires?" This would be catastrophic for trauma resuscitation, surgeries of all kinds, and a variety of medical patients.
There should be severe penalties for soliciting service like this. Imagine if solid organ transplants were handled in the same way: "Young man, as a new intern, I'll give you a percentage of my Facebook stock in exchange for a kidney..."
The next problem: it will only take one high-profile transfusion reaction to crater the public trust. If the biology nerds in the audience want to distract you with fancy talk about the low risk of certain molecular things happening because "it's just plasma", skip it. Simple, mechanical transfusion-associated circulatory overload is plenty enough to kill an old guy with stiff arteries and hypertension.
And the worst part is the lack of science being used to drive a supply chain decision that's highly science-dependent. This is so ethically corrupt I don't even know where to begin. The FDA's statement pales in comparison to what I'm sure the inspectors are actually feeling right now.
Please, if you know someone soliciting this kind of transfusion (recipient or physician), encourage them to read the FDA statement.
This is already true in Iran. Here's the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry.
The practice of selling one's kidney for profit in Iran is legal and regulated by the government. In any given year, it is estimated that 1400 Iranians sell one of their kidneys to a recipient who was previously unknown to them. Iran currently is the only country in the world that allows the sale of one's kidney for compensation (typically a payment); consequently, the country does not have either a waiting list or a shortage of available organs
Is this -- at risk of going there -- just another case where the effective solution is too disgust-evoking to try?
Edit: I agree that free donors will dry up under a system of compensation, but that's equally true of e.g. going to "all lumber must be donated" -> pay market prices to tree farms.
Say, limiting it to people who are well-screened and known to be healthy and not have risky lifestyles.
I assume this isn't a case of "oh we tried something like this ages ago and failed so we can't do anything like it again".
That depends very heavily on the numbers, and I've never heard any public health professional even suggest that the risk rises to the level of "you need a good reason to justify doing it at all". Whenever I hear of a downside to having blood drawn, it's always in the context of "oh you might get results with false positives" or unnecessary physical cost. Never "zomg you could get infected if you keep it up". If anything, I've heard that it's healthy to have blood drawn regularly.
Heck, even the (healthline) link you gave -- which specifically exists to enumerate downsides, says nothing about infection, just very acute stuff and the physical costs I mentioned above.
Everything has risk; that doesn't mean everything has risk that is significant; that question depends crucially on the numbers involved, and all heuristics show this isn't a significant one. (Seems roughly on the level of "staying safe by taking 4 rather than 20 flights a year.")
In any case, it still seems irrelevant to the use-case in question, with regards to "evil Peter Thiel is compromising the blood supply".
- Thiel finds and screens a healthy person who likely wasn't already donating blood.
- Thiel pays out the nose for proper extraction protocols.
- Thiel's candidate's blood doesn't enter the blood supply.
How does that translate into someone not getting a blood transfusion because of lacking supplies? How does that translate into more infections?
Look, unless you have Thrombophlebitis or other such diseases, I would advise you to find new places to hear things. Having regular blood draws as a normal healthy person is obviously crazy.
> But I don't see any obvious reason why it should be so large that, even doing it every day, that adds up to notable risk.
> ... I've never heard any public health professional even suggest that the risk rises to the level of "you need a good reason to justify doing it at all".
Literally, this whole comment chain is about how the FDA is specifically saying that the risks outweigh the benefits.
If Peter has a 'thing' for blood and wants to play vampire to naively stave off death for a few more weeks and someone else wants to try to take advantage of his insanely large ego, that's fine with me. Y'all do your own kinda crazy. All I'm saying is that blood draws and infusions have obvious health risks and I agree with the FDA in that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Here's a non-shady site justifying giving blood every two months and significant health benefits from doing so:
>Literally, this whole comment chain is about how the FDA is specifically saying that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Yes, saying risks outweigh the benefits with respect to the recipient, and because the benefits are currently very speculative. Not because having blood drawn is a super risky endeavor.
Virtually every objection levied in this demonstrably non-responsive.
Could be a decent business to pay x amount for people to donate blood and sell it to hospital. People would be incentivised to donate blood, hospital would get more off it and given they are already paying for it.
Because the money incentivizes those who shouldn't donate to donate (and attempt to bypass any controls that prevent them from donating)?
That probably won't work. You want donors to voluntarily disqualify themselves when they become ineligible (like if they've started taking a prohibited mediation), and they're going to be less likely to do that if they're coming in to get paid. You can't monitor their lives 100% and I doubt it's practical to run screening tests for every problem.
To use a software analogy: it's defense in depth strategy. Their polices screen for honesty, and then they do technical screening as a further check. Neither's perfect, but together they're probably more effective than either alone.
Is it really shocking that cadging the use of a young endocrine system, kidneys, lungs etc might help an older organism? No. Is it shocking that supposedly intelligent people have managed to conflate that with a transfusion? Yes!
I’m also getting the sense that you’re not quite getting what I’m saying about the difference between getting a bag of blood from a teenager, and having your circulatory system grafted onto a teenager. Even leaving aside the “we’re not mice” issue, you do see the difference not only in scale, but type right? Please say yes...
College students need money and spring break is a good time to be grafted onto an old rich guy for a week.
Not sure what you're getting at with transfusion vs. circulatory system... I see 3 options: (1) works in mice but not in humans, (2) works in humans with just blood, (3) works in humans but needs more than blood (either whole "young circulatory system" or just parts of it, e.g. hormones etc.). So, you might be willing to experiment that (2) holds.
I mean, if you're opposed to this, if you're certain it's immoral, wouldn't you also be opposed to any trials as well? After all, this is similar to a trial... Sure, it doesn't have as much value to the society, as it's not blind randomized, but it might still have tremendous value to an individual.
Because having a graft like they did to the mice is closer to the equivalent of a new kidney, liver, lung, and pancreas transplant than it is to a blood transfusion. The original experiment is no where near close to what is being sold and there are no controlled trials that show a "young blood" transfusion provides benefit.
Not to mention that some people have established medical needs for plasma donations and the number of donors is not unlimited...
From the FDA, "The more common risks are allergic reactions and transfusion associated circulatory overload and less common risks include transfusion related acute lung injury or transfusion associated circulatory overload and infectious disease transmission."
A Sense of impending doom is a side effect of an incompatible blood transfusion and is typically followed by death.
These companies are also mostly fly by night "move fast and break things" motto companies that do not undergo rigorous medical evaluations. A large part of the FDAs concern in their official statement is that these companies are not conducting clinical trials.
Then how are you ever supposed to establish the benefits in the first place?
Even if you think you can find some weird corner case where this doesn't apply, do you disagree with the general principle that benefits should outweigh risks for medical procedures?
Blood intended to save your life makes no unverifiable claims about the age of the donor. They are pretty strict about who can give blood, but this is not per se a pertinent metric normally.
It's safer than bleeding out and dying. That doesn't necessarily mean it's 100% risk free.
There's plenty of polished turds, that, marketed appropriately, will make their promoters and founders millions.
I agree with you though -- the leaps here are tremendous, and likely unfounded.
I would be very curious to know what they typically paid the donor in that transaction.
Check out their site. It's just a note "In compliance with the FDA announcement issued February 19, 2019, we have ceased patient treatments."
Or inappropriate false advertising...
they re probably not the only ones shutting down
1. How much evidence is there that Marijuana is an effective treatment for certain diseases? How much evidence is there that Marijuana is harmful?
2. How much evidence is there that infusing young people's plasma into your blood treats any illnesses? How much evidence is there of risks associated with infusing plasma?
We don't need to include the FDA to take a look at how silly the idea is.
The FDA is famously restricted by the Feds, often leaving them decades behind. This is like an OSHA type warning telling you not to inject plasma into yourself like an idiot.
I'm all for making it legal, but we should also realize that there is a multi-billion dollar lobby pushing with an agenda for legalization that tries to paint weed with all the advantages in the world.
I get it. I mean, I'd love to believe studies that tell me that my moderate alcohol use isn't harming my health. Unfortunately, they don't seem to pass replication.
But based on this line of arguing, you're implying that young blood has actual biological benefits.
If so, can you back this claim up at all?
The commenters in this thread seem to believe an FDA warning is some type of negative proof on this therapy. I just don't think that's the right way to read this.
Call me old fashioned, but I can’t believe this is a thing.
I like the idea though. For centuries we've had motif's of the "evil queen" bathing in the blood of innocents to rejuvenate herself. Now in modern times we can move past the idea of wealthy elderly capitalistic vampires sucking the youth out of people indirectly to becoming literal vampires sucking the life out of the young directly.