Gays, Bloodborne Disease, and Compassion
Washington D.C. College students, having given up on the FDA directly, are pressuring the American Red Cross, which collects most of the nation's blood, to change it's policy banning gay men from being donors. Activists say that if they can get the Red Cross to change its stance, the FDA will follow.
Why? Why are they doing this? If I participated in acts that made my blood suspect, the last thing I would want to do is endanger the inventory that people depend upon. The last thing I would want to do is effect healthcare decisions or effect the confidence or treatment of sick people. People have to be very ill before they get blood, and they have enough worries without adding the fear of bloodborne disease.
Because of AIDS and hepatitis patients now receive blood only as a last resort. Because of all the deaths and infections produced in hemophiliacs and others, the confidence in our blood supply is still in a state of recovery. The tests we use to screen donor units are better than they used to be, but the tests and the system aren't perfect.
Is there anything more selfish and self-centered than the action of these activists? Couldn't they for a moment just poke their heads outside their self-absorbed, sick little world and think of the men, women, and children they are effecting?