HEALTH

Children of Chinese blood donors offered grades boost as incentive

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 September, 2014, 4:37pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 September, 2014, 6:13pm

Parents who donate more than 4 litres of blood can win perks under a bizarre county policy in Zhejiang province, including bonus points for their children's exams, health care discounts and and free rides on public transport.

An ecstatic man who recently reached the 4,000-mililitre threshold drew public attention to the policy’s existence when he posted his achievement on Weibo, the Qianjiang Evening News reported on Wednesday.

The man, 28, who started donating blood at the age of 18, said he had given enough to the blood bank to win his future child one extra point on his or her high school entrance exam.

"Because of this policy, I [donated so much blood that I] have put my life at risk! [I] want to tell my future son: No worries with the high school entrance exams, Dad has already got you bonus marks!” said the post by Weibo user with a handle translating to “Dawei riding a small wheel”.

The human body contains about 5 to 5.6 litres of blood, depending on a person’s weight. The man said he had donated 4.3 litres of blood to date.

It would take an adult five years to reach the 4,000 mL mark if the person donates blood twice a year, the report said.

According to the directive issued by the Pujiang county government on July 24 this year, the children of blood donors who have let 6,000 mL of blood will be rewarded two extra points on the entrance exam, while those who give 8,000 mL wil get three points.

Donors must secure a certificate from the provincial government before their children can be allotted those points.

Other rewards for generous blood donors are reimbursements for medical fees, free rides on public transport and cash rewards.

However, many mainland internet users criticised the Pujiang government’s policy, saying it cheapened an act of charity. Others reacted with incredulity at what amounted to paying for social services with blood.

"It’s literally a bloody policy for extra marks,” a Weibo user named “daoluaimi” wrote.

"It is not wrong to promote blood donation. But the method of exchanging blood for marks is too extreme,” another user said.

Other netizens countered that the policy was sound, but its implementation could be improved.

"I think the policy is not a problem. It is designed to reward people who have been donating blood for a long time,” one commenter said. “But [it should not] reward people who aim at getting extra [exam] points.”

"Blood donation is an act of philanthropy. It is doing a good deed,” another opposing Weibo user said. “[Most donors] do not get any reward in the first place. I have donated 2,000cc [or 2,000 mL] of blood so far, and I never expected anything.

"The bonus points are merely a reward and praise for donors … Only snobbish people will interpret it as a materialistic matter.”