Canadian Blood Services Sues Gay Man For Donating Blood
Canadian Blood Services is suing Kyle Freeman, a perfectly healthy gay man, for donating blood against CBS policy. Freeman had admitted to lying on the donation forms, which asks all men to reveal their sexual orientation, because he had been recently tested as clean for blood-borne diseases. While the admission was made in an anonymous email, CBS launched an investigation, eventually linking the email to its sender.
Canada permanently bans all gay men from donating blood, even if they practice safe sex or are in monogamous relationships. Interestingly, this does not apply to women who have had unprotected sex with bisexual men, despite them being at the same risk.
The ban, of course, has its share of critics, including none other than the American Red Cross, which called gay blood bans “medically and scientifically unwarranted” in 2007—and statistics support them. Nevertheless, Canadian Blood Services has repeatedly refused to lift the policy and replace it with one involving temporary deferrals based on unsafe sexual behaviours instead of permanent bans over sexual orientation.
CBS says it bans donors which they deem to be high-risk, because their extensive blood screening process cannot yet detect malaria and the human version of mad cow disease. (Both of which, I guess, are rampant throughout the gay community… Moo.)
Kyle Freeman is counter-suing for pain, humiliation, and degradation suffered over being banned for being gay.
- Blood services sues gay donor [Canoe.ca]
- Ontario man makes charter challenge against blood-donation screening [Ottawa Citizen]