From Iceland — Complaint Filed Against Health Ministry

Complaint Filed Against Health Ministry

Published February 23, 2011

A complaint has been lodged with the Ministry of Health that rules regarding donating blood are illegal.
RÚV reports that an 18-year-old gay man filed the charges last week after he was turned away from the Blood Bank and told he could not donate blood because he had had sex with another person of the same gender. The complaint states that such a rule is a violation of local law, the constitution, and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The man filing the complaint has asked that the ministry lift the ban, demonstrate the logic behind it, and show the research that has been done on gay males in Iceland that justifies the ban being in place.
The Blood Bank counters that such a regulation is in place at health authorities around the world. Head doctor at the Blood Bank Sveinn Guðmundsson pointed out that such a regulation has been challenged in court repeatedly, and the conclusion has always been that health authorities have the right to establish such a regulation in the interests of the safety of blood recipients.
The ban on gays donating blood is ubiquitous, although steps are being made to try and reverse it. Last year, 18 US Senators called for the US version of the ban to be lifted, saying that the restriction was not based on scientific fact.

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