Today is the only day before 2013 that the Blood Bank is open, and they are asking for donors. Foreigners living in Iceland should be aware of their rights in this matter.
As reported, the Blood Bank told reporters that New Years is a busy time at area hospitals, and they are in need of blood donations. Due to the placement of the holidays this year, today is the only day the Blood Bank is open.
However, it was reported two years ago that foreigners were denied being able to provide donations if they could not speak Icelandic. This, the Blood Bank told us at the time, was because the questionnaire given to potential donors was in Icelandic. They furthermore forbade bringing interpreters as they said donating blood was a medical procedure that necessitated confidentiality.
But as Barbara Kristvínsson, a councilor at the immigrant information centre Þjónustumiðstöð Miðborgar og Hlíða, pointed out, professional interpreters sign confidentiality agreements and are entitled by law to, among other things, accompany foreigners to donate blood.
While the Blood Bank, some readers have told us, have not as yet translated their questionnaires from Icelandic, foreigners are legally entitled to bring interpreters.
The Blood Bank is located on Snorrabraut 60, and will be open today between 8:00 and 19:00. As this is the only day they will be open before New Year’s, they strongly encourage all those who can donate blood to do so.