Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Canada bars organ donations from gay men

January 10, 2008
canada bars organ donations from gay men
By News Editor
Gay activists in Canada have hit out at new regulations that ban gay men who have been sexually active in the past five years from donating their organs for transplant.
According to new Health Canada regulations, transplant programs will no longer be able to harvest organs from the bodies of gay men who were sexually active in the past five years.


The new rules, which came into effect without much notice in December, are similar to the regulations for determining who can donate blood although any man who has had sex with a man since 1977 is barred from ever donating blood. The rule is applied in Canada, the United Sates and almost all countries in the world except Spain, Switzerland and Italy.

Under the new regulations, groups that are at high risk of transmitting infectious diseases including HIV and hepatitis C and B will no longer be accepted as organ donors. The restrictions will also cover intravenous drug users, commercial sex workers and people who have had tattoos or body piercings in the last 12 months using shared needles, came into effect last month.

Numerous gay rights groups and health care experts have criticised the new rules as the Canadian media and various news agencies picked up on the issue this week.

The head of Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, a gay advocacy group, was quoted as saying that the new rules which exclude any man who has had sex with a man within five years from organ donation may not only send the wrong the message but leave those preparing for live donation in the lurch.

“They seem to be making decisions that are bad for the health-care system, that don’t seem to be designed to meet the real needs of risk management and that send the wrong messages about the gay community and about HIV and AIDS,” Kevin Kindred said. “Of course that’s frustrating and of course people find that offensive.”

Dr. Philip Berger, head of family and community medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, told the Toronto Star that the rules are unfair to thousands of conscientious gays.

“What about a gay monogamous couple, (Health Canada) is not going to let them donate? It’s ridiculous,” says Berger. “It’s been known for 20 years that the risk factor is not in being gay (but) in risky sexual behaviour.”

Other medical experts have warned that the new rules could lead to deaths by shrinking an already small pool of donors.

Egale Canada, a gay political lobby organisation, is calling on federal Health Minister Tony Clement to suspend the new policy and for a panel to be appointed to review organ donor rules.

“Health Canada should be making sure the regulations stop unsafe organ transplants and not create a situation where healthy viable gay organs will be thrown away,” Helen Kennedy, Egale’s executive director, told Reuters.

“It’s perpetuating stereotypes. It bans every gay or bisexual man who potentially is in a monogamous relationship – or other gay men who are vigilant about safe sex practices – from donating organs.” ae

Related Articles
US FDA reaffirms ban on gay blood donors
5 HIV+ blood donors sentenced to jail in s’pore
gay blood donors in NYC turned away

This has been a touchy subject for years, especially for those dependent on organ donation and for many a life and death scenario.

What do you think?



January 10, 2008 - Posted by | Blogroll, Gay General, Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas


  1. Hello!,

    Comment by name | September 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. Good day!,

    Comment by name | September 1, 2008 | Reply

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