Friday, September 17, 2010

Decision Decisions

So, Canadian Blood Services was recently awarded 10,000$ in a negligence suit they filed against Kyle Freeman. Freeman donated blood and lied about his sexual status. When asked on the donation questionnaire if he had had sex with men he answered no. The decision to side with Canadian Blood Services was made, according to the judge, based on facts and not discriminatory.
I have to say I agree with the decision. It's easy to say everyone should be included when you are perfectly healthy and you don't rely on the blood system. But, if you are like me, you need the blood system to be the best it can be.
When someone tries to donate blood and they are turned away, they must feel awful and I can relate to that. With my illness I have felt like an outsider much of my life. But, I am the one who has to live with the results of the blood transfusion not the donor.
I understand that this might not be a popular opinion. I don't want anyone to feel bad about themselves or feel left out just because of their sexual orientation but if it is true, that men who have sex with men are more likely to transmit disease then I think they should be excluded.
With that being said, if people with brown hair, or people from Newfoundland or people who wear black shoes were a high risk group then I think those people should be excluded too.
I don't have the scientific information to say that men who have had sex with men since 1977 are a high risk group. But I can say as 100% fact that the families who have lost their loved ones from the tainted blood scandal are heart broken. I have listened to the stories of people who have had to watch their children, brothers and husbands die a slow, painful death and I think that we need to do whatever we can to ensure this doesn't happen again even if it means hurting someones feelings.


  1. I'm on board with you. As someone who hasn't been able to give blood since 2003, it sucks to be one of those (in the minority, it appears) who actually WANTS to donate blood. I want to help. But, rules being what they are, I have to respect the fact that my blood isn't what other people need. My time, money, ears, yes; blood, not so much.

    This topic may be pointing out something that's "unfair," but if that's the case, let's get the scientific data to support that, and get the rules changed. Or have the data support the established rules.

    Either way, it's safety first.

  2. I agree Ryanne. It's scary to have to receive blood products on a much too regular basis. At least Canadian Blood Services can take every precaution necessary.