Wednesday, January 9, 2008

First Our Blood and Now Our Organs..What's Next?

How disappointing can this news be? I just recently read that active gay men are no longer able to donate their organs. This is a new legislation that the Canadian government has put in place as of December 2007. Most organ donation clinics aren't even aware of this new regulation.

This is just pure discrimination. I can understand the need to screen against individuals who have infectious disease and drugs users because the organs can't be cleaned of the disease or substance abuse and the infection maybe transfer to the new host. But to disallow a person because of their sexual preference is terrible. How different is a sexually active gay man versus a sexually active straight man? Why aren't they disallowed to donate as well?

It would appear regardless of the many strives we have made to be equally viewed and treated in society that the same old status quo remains. Even in places like Italy were the dominance of the Catholic Church has a large influence over government policies, there are no such laws. Gay men in general tend to be the most health cautious individuals. For a large majority they are worry about their appearance and health and ensure to take of it. There are probably a lot more gay men who eat well, exercise regularly and have a healthy lifestyle in general then most straight men. Our organs should be prime candidates for any individual who needs a transplant.

Perhaps the government should invest their time and effort, which includes the cost to tax payers, in finding out a new system that can detect a healthy organs free from any unwanted contaminates. This way they can stop discriminating against such social groups.

Here is part of the article below from CBC News

A number of organ donation groups said Monday that they are unaware of new Health Canada regulations that mean sexually active gay men, injection drug users and other groups considered high risk will no longer be accepted as organ donors.
The new rules, which came into effect in December, are similar to the regulations for determining who can donate blood. Those rules exclude groups that are at high risk of transmitting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C and B.
Dr. Gary Levy, who heads Canada's largest organ transplant program at Toronto's University Health Network, said he was unaware of the new policy on organ donations.(CBC)
Officials at several transplant programs in the country said because they were unaware of the new regulations, they would continue to consider all potential donor organs.
"We have not been informed, first of all, that Health Canada is considering this," said Dr. Gary Levy, who heads Canada's largest organ transplant program at Toronto's University Health Network. "Obviously if Health Canada wishes to discuss that, we would hope they would engage all stakeholders."
Dr. Peter Nickerson, director of Transplant Manitoba, which procures organs in that province, said transplant programs must now by law interview family members of the donor as part of the screening process.
"We'll be asking about things like travel, history of infectious disease, whether they've [donors] been in jail — that puts you at increased risk," Nickerson said. "Have they been an IV drug abuser in the past? Have they had tattoos? There's a whole list of questions we go through."

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