Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ottawa: Protest against Gay Organ Ban

Today on parliament hill gay rights protesters gathered in protest against a recently introduced policy by Health Canada. The policy bans gay men from being organ donors, a move made based more on homophobia then any form of science. This is a move that only hurts people desperately needing organ transplants. The idea states some sort of dark age belief that gay men are some how contaminated and diseased which is far from acceptable in a country that is supposed to be one of the most progressive on gay rights.

It seems that the charter of rights and freedoms is a document that many people are forgetting these days. As under Charter law people cannot be discriminated against based on sexual orientation. Yet Health Canada seems to have forgotten the Charter and is living on either Judeo-Christian notions of sin or the homophobia based scare of HIV/AIDS despite the fact that most AIDS victims are actually heterosexual. The concept that people may die because, Health Canada won't allow gay males to give their organs is a blatant disregard for the Hippocratic Oath and any other for Health professionals to do no harm.

The protest was organized by 'Standing Against Queer Discrimination'. The first protest held was in London, Ontario on January 17th outside the Health Canada office there. They since called a National Day of Action for February 26th. Cities across the country had protests outside local Health Canada offices against the ban and, here in Ottawa SAQD officials met with parliamentary officials while the protest went on outside. According to Ottawa residents the protest on Parliament with about 80 people in attendance and speakers including an NDP MP and the Liberal Health Critic.

Yet this is not the only discriminatory health practice in Canada against gay males. Any man who has ever in their lifetime had sex with another man is barred from donating blood by the Canadian Blood Services a policy that has gone on since 1977. Even if a womyn has had sex with a man who has sex with a man she is disqualified for giving blood for a year. Both the organ ban and blood donation ban does nothing but harm the public and puts people at risk who could otherwise be helped.

Photos Courtesy of Kaitlyn Kincaid

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3 Comments:

Blogger Gemini said...

No comments? Odd. I was linked to your post from an Livejournal community called "queeractivism".... and I was going to blog myself about this position...

However, I would urge you to check out my blog seen here:
http://geminiwench.livejournal.com/749377.html

Where I have links to the Health Canada, CDC and Public Health Agency of Canada press releases and epidemic reports which Health Canada based their decision on,...

You have a point, but THEY have a point, too, and I think that if we ignore the points of view without researching them, we are being just as dishonest and ignorant as the opposing parties. Sexually active gay men are not the only high risk group excluded from automatic donation, but one of many demographics... like those recently imprisoned, raped, had tattoos/piercings, used IV recreational drugs, or traveled to certain countries. ALSO, that several days before your post, Health Canada clarified and said that people in need of a transplant can consent to using an organ from a high-risk donor (they are not told which high risk group the organ will come from) if a match comes in.

You should at least post all the available information and give citations so people can learn all views and make up their OWN mind. Please take a look at the information in my blog and on those websites (and read the pertinent pages of the epidemiological report) and tell me what you think.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Although I understand your point, the point of this post was mostly reporting on the protest. I however, don't think its scientifically logical to exclude an entire group based upon gender and sexuality on such. The organizers of the protest realize that certain segments of the gay population are at high risk due to their safety choices however, to label an entire group without even looking at their safety choices is in my opinion wrong.

Plus we also have to remember the Blood ban which came into affect before the onset of the AIDS epidemic. Which bans any male who has EVER slept with another male once in their lifetime even if they have been checked. I am also naturally wary of this government which has done anything but protect GLBTTQ rights.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Christian said...

I worked at a retail store.

Our boss was racist against blacks.

Whenever a black person came in she would say keep an eye on him.

One day a black man walked in and she told me to keep an eye on him.

I bluntly told her to fuck off.(we had a odd relationship)

So she watched him and watched him well.

so well... she didnt notice a white female stealing from the shop.

I told her about it, after when we closed.

she yelled at me why didnt you tell me.

i told her because you are racist and needed to learn.
I also gave my resignation to her that night.

If you cant figure out what im trying to say here. Then there is no point in explaining it to you.
(you=anyone.)

10:53 AM  

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