Homosexual blood donors

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Surrey, Bc, Canada | Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The Health Ministry has commented in a recent media report that homosexuals cannot donate blood because they are seen as "high risk" donors.

Now a prominent local human rights lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh says the Health Ministry's policy on blood donation is discriminatory against gay men and the minority LGBTQI community in the country (FT 13/4).

He added that the comment was a direct violation of Section 26 of the Fijian Constitution and also a violation of fundamental human rights as contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

He calls for the Ministry of Health to immediately withdraw this discriminatory policy and bring it in line with the WHO guidelines which specifically states that there should be no discrimination when screening persons for blood donation.

With all due respect to all who may be affected by this Ministry of Health ruling, it is common sense and I believe that the blood bank wants to collect blood that is healthy, that will help restore health on its recipient and not further complicate matters by an infected blood transfusion.

I consider myself to be healthy and in the past 30 years, some blood bank representatives have allowed me to give blood, while most have turned down my offer when they learn that I have been taking high blood pressure medication. My point is: forget about screening discrimination and violation of fundamental human rights in this context, as it is the blood bank and not the blood donor that will get a lot of flak when the blood transfusion results in more health complications.

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