A group of Democrat lawmakers have written to the Obama administration demanding that it update its policies with regard to allowing gay men to donate blood, tissue and organs.
The move comes following the widely reported story of a US teenager whose eyes were rejected for donation following his death simply because he was gay.
Iowa’s Alexander “A.J.” Betts Jr. was outed as gay in 2012 and was subsequently bullied. He took his own life in July 2013.
A few months previously, he had registered to be an organ donor. However, although his heart, liver, lungs and kidneys were used to help to save other lives, his family were shocked when his eyes were rejected.
This was because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a five-year deferral of tissue donations from men who have sex with men. Because Betts’ family were unable to confirm whether he had engaged in sexual activity or not, his eyes were declined.
The letter has been signed by more than 60 Democrat senators and members of Congress, including Tammy Baldwin [pictured above], Tom Harkin, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Quigley.
- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/democrats-demand-update-gay-blood-organ-and-tissue-donation-policy-us090914#sthash.2Wd4o0Pj.dpuf