better to give than to receive, mate

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 09, 2005

Bigotry gets a bloody nose in Tasmania:

The Red Cross Blood Service may be forced to abandon its blanket ban on gay men, following a landmark anti-discrimination investigation into the case of a Tasmanian man turned away from a blood bank. The case is only the second of its kind in Australia, and the first since major improvements in blood screening technologies.

The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group lodged a complaint with the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission on behalf of 23-year-old Launceston man Michael Cain, who was turned away because he was in a same-sex relationship.

The commission will now investigate the case and has given the Red Cross two weeks to respond to the complaint. Mr Cain, who is a volunteer ambulance officer, said he wanted to give blood and was flabbergasted when he was turned away.

Rank homophobia on the part of the Red Cross. Think of the gifts gay men bring to the blood donor community!

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2005 7:54 AM ET USA

    From the American Red Cross guidelines: "You should not give blood if you have AIDS or have ever had a positive HIV test, or if you have done something that puts you at risk for becoming infected with HIV." This is further specified: "are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977". This does not risk the same type of complaint, and doesn't exclude so-called "gay" women.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 10, 2005 1:24 PM ET USA

    I worked for many years in a blood bank (not red cross) - the ONLY reason gay men are excluded is the risk of HIV infection. Also excluded from donating are: women who've been with a gay man, women who've been raped, anyone who's had a blood transfusion....its NOT about sexual orientation, but the RISK that is involved in sodomy transmitting HIV. Gay women are not deferred at all....if gay men CAN donate, DO NOT take any blood transfusions ever again.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 09, 2005 3:44 PM ET USA

    It's precisely that "gift" that the Red Cross wants to avoid:the danger of tainted blood from AIDS. This PC lunacy reminds me of the remark of Thomas More that in a corrupt era, we have to choose to be human at all and we must stand fast a little even at the risk of being heroes if we have the spittle for it. I hope the Red Cross has the spittle and will be heroic.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 09, 2005 1:02 PM ET USA

    The figt of AIDS with blood transfusions is right around the corner. People taking certain medications can't give blood. What makes these people think that a the potentional for a life threatening incurable disease transmited through blood transfusion is discrimination?

  • Posted by: Andy K - Oct. 09, 2005 9:26 AM ET USA

    In the US, the Red Cross puts stickers on the bags. Perhaps AUS can do the same and put the "Reject" sticker on these bags.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 09, 2005 9:22 AM ET USA

    Diogenes, there is a practice in medicine of "universal precautions" which mandates that all blood products and body fluids be treated as potentially infected. And thank goodness. If we had to rely on volutary disclosure of personal knowledge of risk factors and infection, we would have a far less safe system. That is, everyone who is a donor should be considered a carrier of infectious disease, and the policy of proscribing certain people of risk doesn't make a lot of sense.