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Canada’s Last Taboo: Gay Blood Donation

LifeSiteNews.com

by Hilary White
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  MONTREAL, March 21, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Montreal Gazette reports that Hema Quebec, the agency that oversees blood donations, will not be reviewing its policy of banning sexually active homosexuals from donation drives. In Canada, the movement to accept homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle has resulted in drastic legal changes to nearly all aspects of Canadian life. This shift has been accomplished with the assistance of the medical and psychiatric community and media that has suppressed medical evidence of the health risks of homosexuality.
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  The donation of blood, however, may be a last holdout where decisions are based on scientific evidence rather than concerns about political correctness. Hema Quebec announced that it will not reconsider its policy of a lifetime ban on donations from men who have had sex with another man since 1977.
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  In the US, the Food and Drug Administration is caving to pressure to revise its blood donor screening policy and three major US blood agencies are recommending cutting the ban to a year after a man has had sex with another man.
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  The FDA is considering the change because of what are thought to be improved testing procedures, but Canadian reluctance to follow the politically correct crowd is born of an unhappy history with litigation.
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  Dr. John Shea, a retired Toronto physician and writer on medical ethics says “better” testing is not enough when lives are at stake. “Is the testing foolproof? What does ‘better’ mean?’ Shea asked rhetorically. “It’s like the difference between ‘safe sex’ and ‘safer sex’. We’re talking about devastating diseases and you had better be absolutely certain.”
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  Shea said, “The Centers for Disease Control says the best test ‘rarely’ gives a false negative. That’s fine in terms of an individual getting tested for HIV. But that ‘rare’ risk of a false result is greatly increased with large numbers of donors. What might be considered an acceptable risk with an individual becomes a much more serious matter of giving that disease to large numbers of other people.”
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  By 1998 federal and provincial governments had paid out over $1.25 billion in compensation to hundreds of Canadians who had been infected with hepatitis C from transfusions of tainted blood through the 1980’s.
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  In February, the Quebec agency shut down the donor clinic when a note was found in a men’s washroom urging gay men at the clinic to lie about their sexual history on the screening questionnaire.
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  Pressure is mounting from the left, however. Commission scolaire de Montreal threatened in 2004 to halt all blood drives in its schools unless Hema-Quebec agreed to drop references to homosexuality in its questionnaire.
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  A recent study by two doctors with Hema-Quebec found that cutting the ban to one year would increase the risk of infection by one in 50 million donations. But Health Canada, whose responsibility it is to set national screening standards, said it would not consider revising the policy even if the risk was only “marginally” increased.
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  The Canadian Hemophilia society are pleased the decision is not likely to change. David Page, the organization’s spokesman said that hemophiliacs, who must receive repeated blood transfusions, recognize that the incidence of blood transmitted disease is high among homosexual men.
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“A one-year ban is not enough,” Canadian Hemophilia Society spokesman David Page told the Gazette. “The information we have now is [such a change] would increase the health risk, not of HIV, but of either unknown or emerging viruses.”

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
  Political Correctness Cost Lives Of Thousands In Canadian Blood Scandal
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2002/nov/02112503.html

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