First thing I have to admit is that I am not a blood donor. I am willing to have my body torn apart when I die for organ and tissue donation, but I am scared of needles. I know that it is a good thing to do, but at the same time I get anxious enough when I have to give blood at the Doctor’s office. Due to that I have never taken a big look at the rules for blood donation, put together by the FDA Blood Products Advisory Panel.
Then I found a story on Jezebel that made me decide to take a second look at the rules. They claim, along with an article in Mother Jones, that the rule bans gay and bisexual men from donating blood. In some thoughts this is true, but specifically the rule states that any man who has sex with other men is banned from donating blood. This means that any sexually active gay and / or bisexual men cannot donate blood, but there are still a multitude of problems with this ruling. One being that we do not take the sexual activity of any other group into account about whether they can donate blood and that our society equates being gay or bisexual with having sex, which itself is not accurate. The more interesting thing is the number of respected groups that disagree with this ruling. Continue reading