And those who need blood transfusions pay the price.

San Jose State University’s decision this week to ban blood drives on the 30,000-student campus over discrimination concerns is drawing a gush of criticism from local blood banks.

Stanford Blood Center officials said they actually agree with San Jose State President Don Kassing that the federal Food and Drug Administration is wrong to prohibit blood donations from gay men.

But in a statement Friday, the center called his decision to suspend campus blood drives for that reason "a terribly misguided tactic that could have a devastating impact on the blood supply, and therefore, patients in our community."

Kassing’s stand — based on the university’s non-discrimination policy — has focused attention on a longstanding FDA rule that many say is overly restrictive. Critics, however, worry it sets a bad example that could exacerbate blood shortages if others follow his lead.

It’s one thing to stand up for your principles, and it’s certainly San Jose State’s prerogative to do this, even though I disagree with the principle.  But to shut down blood drives on campus is just entirely misguided and ignores the very real cost of this particular type of stand.

Gay rights groups on several college campuses, including Stanford’s, have held protests on the issue in recent years. At San Jose State, it was an employee’s complaint last year that prompted Kassing’s office to investigate whether the rule made blood drives discriminatory.

They decided it did, since gay men were being treated differently than other groups of people with similar risk factors.

There is no inherent "right" to give blood, but fair enough; let’s assume some sort of evil "discrimination".  Who’s paying the price?  Certainly not the blood banks.  While we’re never really awash in too much donated blood, they’ll still do their jobs as best they can.  Not the FDA.  How does this really affect them?

No, the folks who are really getting punished for this restriction (and pardon me if the regulations regarding the nation’s blood supply err on the side of caution) are those who actually need the blood.  The patients in hospitals who need it to live and who, I’m pretty sure, are quite happy not to have to worry about AIDS-tainted blood. 

These are "bleeding-heart liberals" who care more about hurt feelings over donating restrictions (and really, that’s the only harm I see here) than they do people whose lives may depend on them.  How revealing.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Filed under: CultureHomosexualityLiberalMedicine

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!