Donate blood? Sure, but...

PHOTO: Donate blood? Sure, but...

Singaporeans are not as individualistic as some people think, revealed a my paper street poll.

To get a sense of how altruistic Singaporeans are, we polled 50 people and found that 30, or more than half of them, would donate blood - if they were given some kind of incentive.

However, out of the 30, 20 said that there was no need for monetary rewards.

Said polytechnic student Diyana Johah, 23: "Goodie bags with refreshments (that help) to replenish the lost blood would be fine."

Others, like business executive Jolene Tan, 37, said a thank-you card or note would be good enough.

However, some Singaporeans, like tuition teacher Michael Lim, 30, felt that blood donors should be compensated, just as organ donors are allowed to receive reimbursement for their actions.

But others, like student Ray Choon, 19, felt that blood donation should be an altruistic act.

"Knowing that we are helping more than enough," he said.

The poll followed a research paper on altruistic behaviour written by Professor Ivan Png from the National University of Singapore.

The research found that voluntary blood donations tend to be fewer in countries with more individualistic cultures, such as the United States and Britain, where social ties between individuals are loose and people are expected to look after themselves.

When asked to comment on my paper's poll results, in which people said they would ask for incentives in exchange for donating blood, Prof Png said the current lacklustre economy might have affected people's willingness to give without expectations.

For more my paper stories click here.