Friday, March 5, 2010

An outdated blood donation policy

The Associated Press is reporting that 18 Democratic senators have called for lifting the ban on gay men donating blood.  Stating that, 'Not a single piece of scientific evidence supports the ban,'' Senator John Kerry joined 16 other Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders in writing the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

Reported AP:
The lawmakers stressed that the science has changed dramatically since the ban was established in 1983 at the advent of the HIV-AIDS crisis. Today donated blood must undergo two different, highly accurate tests that make the risk of tainted blood entering the blood supply virtually zero, they said.

The senators said that while hospitals and emergency rooms are in urgent need of blood products, ''healthy blood donors are turned away every day due to an antiquated policy and our blood supply is not necessarily any safer for it.''
In 2006, the American Red Cross reported that the ban "is medically and scientifically unwarranted.''

It will be interesting how the anti-gay folks will fight this one.

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