LIFEBLOOD ACCUSED OF DOUBLE STANDARD ON BLOOD DONATION BANS
"The only explanation for this double standard is that Lifeblood is acting out of prejudice, or in fear of other people's prejudice, neither of which is an acceptable basis for public health policy." - Rodney Croome
Advocates have accused Australia's blood donation service, Lifeblood (formerly the Red Cross Blood Service) of a double standard after it lifted the ban on blood plasma donors with tattoos without any sign of lifting its ban on gay, bisexual and trans (GBT) donors.
Yesterday, Lifeblood announced the four month period between obtaining a tattoo and giving blood plasma would be abolished.
Meanwhile, Lifeblood insists gay, bisexual and trans donors abstain from sex for twelve months before giving blood.
Spokesperson for national LGBTIQ equality organisation, just.equal, Rodney Croome said.
"We welcome Lifeblood's decision to allow blood plasma donation by tattoo recipients, not least because it was based on solid scientific research."
"Similar scientific research from the around the world has shown that replacing the current gay, bisexual and transgender ban with individual risk assessment would lower disease risk and increase the supply of safe blood, yet, Lifeblood is impervious to this science."
"It is a double standard for Lifeblood to allow donations from tattoo recipients but not GBT people, and it is a double-standard for them to heed science in one instance and ignore it in the other."
"The only explanation for this double standard is that Lifeblood is acting out of prejudice, or in fear of other people's prejudice, neither of which is an acceptable basis for public health policy."
In April, Australia's blood authorities announced the twelve month celibacy period would be reduced to three months but six months later this still has not occurred.
Just.equal and PFLAG are asking supporters of a better blood donor policy to email their health minister here...
Just.equal has also launched declaration for health professionals here...
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here