Liability of the National Blood Service Center of the Thai Red Cross Society and hospitals under product liability law: lessons from the experience of the United States and the United Kingdom

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Sakda Thanitcul
Thitinant Tengumnuay

Abstract

In Thailand, it is believed that every year there are cases concerning patients contract HIV/AIDs, and experience adverse reactions after having blood transfusions. It is likely that Thai judges will interpret the word “product” to include blood and blood derivatives sold at non-profit pricing by the National Blood Service Center of the Thai Red Cross Society to state and private hospitals. Therefore, the Thai Red Cross Society, a juristic person under Thai law, could be held strictly liable as a manufacture of blood and blood derivatives in the same manner as decided by the U.K. court in A and others v National Blood Authority and another. In this event, the court’s decision may seriously disrupt the current well-functioning scheme concerning blood and blood derivatives provided almost exclusively by the National Blood Service Center of the Thai Red Cross Society. We suggest that the public health in Thailand would be well served for Thai courts to follow the experience of the United States by exempting only blood and blood derivatives provided by the National Blood Service Center from application of the Liability for Damage Arising from Unsafe Product Act B.E.2551.

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Research Articles