“Michiganians mine bodies for cash to make ends meet”

Yup. This, according to the Detroit News, is what it’s come to. Here’s a clip:

…Fetzner is among those realizing that, in these tough times, the body isn’t just a temple. It can be a gold mine…

A few weeks ago, it was a story on people in Detroit eating trash-fattened raccoon, and now we get this article informing people how to go about selling their hair, eggs and blood plasma to make ends meet. One wonders what’s next. A video tutorial on how to get started as a prostitute, maybe? Or, perhaps, an editorial on why we should be allowed to sell organs, like eyes and kidneys, that we we have more than one of… Here’s more from the article:

…As Michigan’s economy continues to suffer, people are offering themselves up as medical guinea pigs for a quick buck to make ends meet. Some are selling plasma, others their hair for hundreds on the Internet, while others take the more extreme road by wanting to sell their eggs or participate in medical studies in exchange for payment and free medical exams…

Meanwhile, donations of plasma — the clear liquid portion of the blood used to treat conditions such as trauma and burns — have also climbed from 10 million nationwide in 2005 to more than 17.5 million last year, said Kara Flynn, director of global communications with Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association in Annapolis, Md.

The increase is partially based on the opening of 60 plasma clinics in that time, but the economy is also a factor, she said. There are a dozen plasma centers throughout Michigan.

Keith Parker, 40, said the $50 he receives weekly at an Oak Park plasma center helps cover his daily necessities: bus fair, water at work and cigarettes. The extra cash has also allowed the Mount Clemens homeless man to save for a house. He makes $250 a week restoring Detroit homes damaged in fires.

“That plasma has really been helping out,” said Parker, noting the additional money paid for his cell phone that enabled him to find a job. “With so many people losing work, I would be more surprised if they didn’t donate plasma. It’s like free money, and it’s for a good cause.”

While local plasma centers are hesitant to talk about the profit potential tied to giving plasma, it’s clearly part of their marketing efforts. For example, IBR Plasma Center in Ypsilanti promotes plasma donation as an “excellent way to earn a little extra money. You could earn up to $200 a month helping to save someone’s life every time you donate”…

One day, if you’re good, I’ll ride my bike up to IBR and take some photos for you. You’d be amazed at the joy on peoples’ faces as they line up in the cold to “save someone’s life” for 20 bucks and a stale cookie.

And, no, I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t be allowed to sell their plasma. And, no, I’m not saying that such facilities don’t have the rite to exist. I just find the whole thing so horribly depressing. People shouldn’t have to live like that. They just shouldn’t.

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  1. Ypsilanti Comfort
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    “One wonders what’s next. ”

    this is what happens next..


  2. Sonic Reducer
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    My uber-punk rocker roommate in college used to do that stuff all the time. One time he did a medical experiment in which he had to stay awake for days on end with a thermometer up his ass. This was in 96, I believe.

  3. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I’m a little disappointed the headline didn’t mean what I thought it meant.

  4. Posted May 6, 2009 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    “One wonders what’s next. A video tutorial on how to get started as a prostitute, maybe? ”

    I think you’re looking for I Wanna Be a Ho?

  5. Paw
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t there used to be a man here in Ypsi that sold his face to the French?

  6. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s bad luck to make fun of faceless Joe.

  7. Paw
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    We should all be able to sell what we don’t absolutely need to live… a few yards of skin, a foot or two, the cartilage that holds up our ears and noses. In a free country, we should be allowed to turn ourselves into boneless blobs of goo.

  8. John
    Posted May 25, 2009 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    You don’t sell plasma that would be illegal! You donate plasma and they compensate you for your TIME ;)

    It’s no big deal at all. Even safer than donating blood as it takes longer to remake whole blood. Plasma only takes 2 days to regenerate. You feel fine, no dizzy spells nausea etc…

    IBR in ypsi is actually where I go, I never got a free cookie :(

  9. Posted May 25, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    So will they pay me for my time if I don’t give them my plasma? They have TVs there, right?

  10. John
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Yeah they have tv’s

    If they can’t find a vein the machine gets a blood clot in it or if you complain that it hurts too much they’ll pull out the needle and you’ll still get paid.

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