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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blood Drive Suspended Due To Anti-Gay Bias In FDA Guidelines

The Onion recently released a spoof of a mythical Supreme Court ruling upholding the right to freedom of speech, replete with a fauxto of Ruth Bader Ginsburg flipping a double bird. As with many productions by The Onion, there was a glancing plausibility to the headline, Supreme Court Upholds Freedom Of Speech In Obscenity-Filled Ruling, but the plausibility didn't last long.

The following apparently is real, but equally as ridiculous, SJSU officials continue to suspend blood drives, citing gay discrimination:

Former SJSU [San Jose State University] President Don Kassing found that the Food and Drug Administration policy that bans gay men from donating blood violates the school's non-discriminatory laws.

In an online message to the campus on Jan. 29, 2008, he stated there would be a suspension of blood drives on campus.

Men who have had sexual relations with other men continue to be banned from donating blood, according to the FDA's Web site.

President Jon Whitmore decided to continue the suspension against blood drives, said Pat Lopes Harris, director of media relations at SJSU.

"He reviewed the material and he knew the Academic Senate felt strongly about the blood drive suspension," Harris said. "He respects the position we had taken."

Hat tip to Eugene Volokh for highlighting this ruling, and for having the seriousness of mind to discuss the legal and moral implications of confusing a health policy designed to help stop the spread of AIDS with anti-discrimination policies.

It is getting harder and harder to distinguish fiction from reality when it comes to the law and political correctness.

Next thing you know, they'll ban students from displaying the American flag in American schools due to concern over offending Mexican immigrants celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

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  1. I love your smart-aleck attitude. Nicely juxtaposed.

  2. But haven't you seen yet, Bill?? They DID attempt to suspend students yesterday for wearing American flag T-shirts in California.


  3. That's almost as bad as targeting only illegal immigrants for deportation.

    We really should also take another look at whether it is constitutional to target only criminals for imprisonment.

  4. THANK YOU for posting this! I love your blog!!

    Common Cents

  5. What the FDA is saying here is that blood screening is ineffective, right? Hey, someone may have bubonic plague that might slip by and into my system. Best to shut down the Red Cross and bleed to death or something.

  6. Come on, AIDs isn't real. It's a ploy by Robert Murdoch to enrich his BigPharma allies.

  7. Matt.Mohr - check the link re: your post.

    This PC thing is way beyond out of hand. It's a wonder anyone is allowed to do anything anymore, there are so many "tolerant" people finding fault with everything. My comment on the boys sent home: sue the school system for 1st amendment rights infringement. The schools are wrong, and the only way they will change (especially in San Fran) is to make 'em pay.

    Regarding the blood supply, does anyone remember WHY they ban gay men from donating? The people who contracted AIDS due to tainted blood? Now, after removing the high risk AIDS carriers by screening all donors, the blood donated is significantly safer. The Red Cross still screens each and every donor's blood; the screening does NOT prevent anyone from donating. Only if someone answers "Yes" to the question regarding sex with another man. So, since the possibility of someone lying and donating tainted blood exists, all blood is still screened. Because of this, significantly fewer donors are rejected, and there have been no other accidental AIDS cases since (that I am aware of, at least).

    I am personally thankful that I can know should I need a transfusion, or plasma, that I can trust that the blood supply is safe as possible. Why would anyone not want that? PC Police would rather people contract AIDS or die than hurt someone's feelings because they can't donate blood?! Sheesh! These people at SJSU are giving fools a bad name.

    Oh - also, there are MANY others who can't donate (due to medications, etc.) - should they now be allowed to donate, as well, to ensure that we have "equal blood donation access" or some such nonsense?! Please, spare me!

  8. You're also not allowed to donate if you've visited certain countries for extended periods of time. Are the donation centers racist too?

    I'm a proud donor and am almost to the gallon club!

    Also, this reminds me of the current argument over whether it is right to Mirandize terrorists or not. Yesterday on Hannity the male guest said every single person deserves the right, in the name of "fairness," no matter their actions. What a fool. Of course it's completely fair that thousands of people could potentially die because we didn't find out things from a MURDERER that through his actions has rescinded those rights.

  9. The college President should be made to justify his action to Arthur Asche's widow and daughter:

    "In 1983, Ashe underwent a second round of heart surgery to correct the bypass surgery he received back in 1979. In 1988, Ashe fell ill and discovered he had apparently contracted HIV during the blood transfusions he had received during his second heart surgery. He and his wife kept his illness private until April 8, 1992, when reports that the newspaper USA Today was about to publish a story about his health condition because of his increasingly gaunt physical appearance forced him to make a public announcement that he had the disease. In the last year of his life, Ashe did much to call attention to AIDS sufferers worldwide. Two months before his death, he founded the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health to help address issues of inadequate health care delivery and was named Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year. He also spent much of the last years of his life writing his memoir Days of Grace, finishing the manuscript less than a week before his untimely death [at age 49]."


  10. The ban, which is based on sexual orientation rather than sexual behavior at risk, is discriminatory.

    What is ridiculous is that the FDA turns a blind eye to the greater risk levels over the past 20 years in several other (non-gay) strata of the population. That these higher-risk groups are allowed to be donors just proves that the means to test and exclude infected blood is already working.

    SJSU's protest is dramatic, but justifiable. If you can suggest a better way to protest this discrimination, please do so.

    I doubt that you are able, however. A smart-aleck is not smart.