Thursday, January 10, 2008

Absoslutely ridiculous

Sometimes the conservative government does something so stupid it is hard to understand what they are thinking.

With no public discourse, with no discussion of knowledgeable scientists or health care professionals, with no discussion with any community advocates, the conservative government has effectively banned organ donations from gay men.

Do you want to ban people who have high risk sexual behaviour? Go ahead. But banning people based on sexual orientation will not make tissue transplants safer. It will just make the wait list longer.

This is a strong demonstration of the irrational homophobic bigotry that still pervades the Conservative Party. Remember, this is not the Progressive Conservative Party anymore. It is the pigs of the Reform party wearing a conservative dress. There is no PC left.

I feel bad for Peter McKay, because to quote John Stewart, "you're the guy who has to spray perfume on these turds."


Anonymous said...

When Mulroney is being grilled about shady dealings then it's the same old Tories of old but the rest of the time its the Reformers in disguise. Pick one and stick with it please.

Jake Gray said...

I love this comment. There is little connection between the old pork grease politics of the Mulroney Croney's, but there is a whole new batch of sleaze with the new neo-con crowd. Its the same Montreal gang of Lobbyists.

As for the party being the Reform in disguise, its not much of a good disguise is it?

They took a washed up corrupt has been of a party, mixed it with the oil and church supported Reformers, and came up with the corrupt redneck party.

So, I'm not a big fan of the grease of the old PC's, although I agree with some of the policy, and I don't agree with much from the Reformers.

I'll stick with both thank you very much.

rabbit said...

Jake - I have two questions:

1. Doesn't this make the rules for organ donations by gays roughly the same as for blood donations by gays?

2. Weren't the rules barring blood donations by gays maintained throughout Chretien's and Martin's governments?

Just curious.

Jake Gray said...

The ban on gay men giving blood was brought in during the 1980s when HIV was constrained mostly to the gay population, and there was no testing method to determine if the blood was infected. HIV is no longer a gay disease. In fact the fastest infection rates are among women. Here is the question they ask you: "Have you had sex with a man since 1977?" So should we ban women from donating blood or organs? Also, this ban is under scrutiny in Canada and the US as the science behind it is shoddy, and new tests which are incredibly sensitive are available to detect infection.

Second, when someone gives blood you can ask them, are you gay? When someone donates organs they are dead. So are you going to maintain a role of who is gay? They plan to interview family members of the deceased. Second the new regulation says you can not donate organs if you are a man and have had sex with a man in the last five years. Why would that be different than blood that says since 1977?

The blood rule was not really a bad idea at the start. It was not known what agent was causing AIDS. All they knew was that a lot of gay men were dying.

Today, the biggest risk factors for contracting HIV or Hep C are behaviors: unprotected sex (gay or straight), IV drug use, shaddy tattoos, being in jail.

I have no problem with focusing questions on risky behavior and disqualifying those at most risk. I do have a problem excluding a section of society based on race, religion or sexual orientation.