Snippet from Reuters : OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada has imposed sweeping restrictions on who can donate organs for transplant -- including a ban on gay men who have been sexually active in the past five years -- and a leading doctor said on Tuesday he feared the move could deter potential donors.
Ok, I am trying to write something that is coherent, and not just my flailing with anger. There has been some backtracking - it appears that if you are in a 'high risk group' (apparently this is the PC term) the recipient must be informed, and your family (eta: Or friends) will be interviewed to see how risky your behaviour was. My anger is that that I think the focus should be on behaviour - if you are in a monogamous relationship with a tested and clean partner...should you really have to try to jump through more hoops just to donate your organs? If you're straight and sleep around, and don't use a condom...should you be off the hook? Given that Canada has one of the lowest donation rates, I don't really see these rules as something that will help that. I see a lot of people thinking that they can't donate (and could, even if there are extra hoops) and organs going to waste. It's risky behaviour that should be focussed on, not orientation. Apparently Health Canada still sees HIV and AIDS as a 'gay' disease, and are willing to stereotype all gay men as promiscuous.
Incidentally, I cannot find a copy of the new regulations on the Health Canada website. If anyone can please let me know - I don't want to misinform people.
Let Health Canada know how you feel:
Call the Minister's Chief of Staff, William King at 613-957-0200 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the minister's constituency office too! (Minister of Health: Tony Clement)
Toll free: 1-866-375-8669. Email: Clement.T@parl.gc.ca
Another post on this is done by jack_pride, here, and is compiling a list of those that have contacted the Minister of Health or his Chief of Staff by phone or email.
I am not against Health Canada trying to protect recipients from disease that could potentially come from donors. What I am against is singling out a group of people as having the riskiest behaviour, and therefore cannot donate organs if they have had sex in the past 5 years.