Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

Canada: Sexual History Dictates Blood Risk -- Lawyer

January 5, 2010

Canada's blood service agency does not refuse donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) due to their sexual orientation but rather due to their elevated risk for HIV and other infections, the service's lawyer argued Monday in an Ottawa courtroom. Plaintiff Kyle Freeman alleges that the ban against blood donations by any man who has ever had sex with another man even once since 1977 violates his Charter Rights and those of other MSM.

"No one has been excluded because they are gay," said Sally Gomery, the attorney for Canadian Blood Services (CBS). "They have been excluded because gay and bisexual and heterosexual men who have this history have a higher risk."

Freeman filed the civil suit after CBS brought him before the court for negligent misrepresentation, alleging he lied on screening forms the agency uses to "defer" unsuitable donors. From 1990 to 2002, Freeman donated blood 18 times.

Advertisement
The ban is justified since MSM are 300 times more likely to acquire HIV than adults who are neither MSM nor injection drug users, Gomery said in court. Of the 58,000 Canadians with HIV, 51 percent are MSM, she said.

The Charter should not apply to CBS since it is not a government agency, Gomery argued, although it is regulated by the government and receives government funding. Even if the Charter did apply, donors are not entitled to an equality guarantee since donating is not a right, she said.

"The offer to give blood, like the offer of any other gift, can be refused," said Gomery. "Safety to recipients is the paramount value within the blood system. If there is a risk something bad will happen, we must assume it will happen and we must take steps to mitigate that risk."

Freeman's attorney is scheduled to make his closing arguments today.

Back to other news for January 2010

Adapted from:
Ottawa Citizen
01.05.2010; Andrew Seymour


  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More Court Cases on Donating or Receiving Blood
Advertisement:
Find out how a Walgreens specially trained pharmacist can help you

Tools
 

Advertisement