Why People Donate Their Poop: Study Points to Altruism and Cash

Besides donating blood, body organs like kidney, liver or heart, nowadays people can also donate their healthy poop to help ailing patients. However, the whole idea is marred with hiccups. Not many of us can decide to package some fecal to deliver to a hospital for medical use. Doing the same to replenish blood banks makes more sense.

Nonetheless, a percentage of people have been donating their poop enthusiastically which raises the question, how comes they are not troubled by the ‘ick factor’ which is the main stronghold in the mind that most folks struggle with?

What’s the motivation?

Source: huffpost

Researchers from Canada, the University of Albert took it upon themselves to find why people donate their No.2. And discovered it is because of benevolence, and but money could also be a viable reason.

According to the lead author of the study Breanna McSweeney, there’s a serious medical need for poop donation. “But the ‘ick factor’ is what often scares off potential donors,” he said.

While there are other factors that ignite the need, the top reason happens to be an intestinal infection called C difficile (or C. diff). The infection is most prominent in hospital environments and especially among elderly patients.

So far statistics show that C. diff affects 450,000 people in the U.S. alone, with over 29,000 deaths associated with it registered every year. Reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the infection is not just another type of common cold that can be ignored. But thanks goodness fecal microbiota transplantation has proven to cure the condition when antibiotics fail.

Recruiting potential donors


In most cases, unless the sick person is a relative or a close friend, McSweeney noted “it can be extremely difficult to enroll or land willing donors. On the same tone, keeping potential donors has proved to be another hurdle. This she explained at the Digestive Disease Week, forum staged in Washington D.C.

The study which involved about 802 volunteers in three countries: Canada the US and England to find out why people aren’t generous with their poop, gave amazing insights. The survey furnished the participants with around 30 inquiries asking about their thoughts and takes on microbiota transplantation and stool donation.

42 percent looked at the need and said they would be willing to offer their No.2 as a desire to help –altruism. 35 percent thought placing a monetary reward would invite more donors and that is starting with them.

Can this be better resolved?

From the study, it means almost half of the population could easily buy into the idea if well enlightened about how this could save lives. The concerned can take the advantage of the fact that humans are given to assist, where there is a serious need.

And like the way blood is donated and stored in blood banks, campaigns to encourage stool donation can be held every time in a while to replenish “poop banks.” Meaning the structures should be built.

Nonetheless, for the 34 years old Ashleigh Peterson, donating her stool for medical uses has been her lifestyle for three years now. As she puts it, “It’s a lot more painless than having them siphon your blood.