Canada: Critics of Gay Blood Donation Ban See "Glimmer of Hope" in Ruling Upholding Ban
September 13, 2010
Ontario Superior Court Justice Catherine Aitken on Thursday upheld a total ban on blood donations from any man who has ever had sex with a man since 1977. In dismissing a constitutional challenge to the policy, Aitken ruled that Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is not a government entity, so the Charter of Rights does not apply.
There is a "high relative prevalence" of HIV and other STD pathogens among men who have sex with men, and thus the policy is based on fact and not prejudice, Aitken wrote in the nearly 200-page judgment. Donating blood is not a right afforded by law, she said. Further, any impact from the ban felt by the MSM community is not "in the same league" as that of blood recipients asked to accept lower safety standards, Aitken wrote.
09.09.2010; Allison Jones
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