Saturday, August 23, 2014

IN THE NEWS: Deceased gay teen’s eye donation rejected: Because he was gay

 Here's an absolutely RIDICULOUS story -and one of bigotry. I can't believe that the FDA has a rule that gay men cannot be organ donors. How totally asinine.  There are SO many people waiting for organ transplants and this stupidity prevents lives from being saved.  Just read this...

A.J. Betts Courtesy of KCCI (used with permission)

Mother outraged after learning her deceased gay son’s eye donation was rejected

Sheryl Moore’s son lay on the bed before her. Soon, she knew, her 16-year-old boy would be taken off life support — another life lost to bullying.
Alexander “AJ” Betts Jr. attempted suicide in July 2013, the Des Moines Register reported at the time. He died shortly thereafter. Betts’s mother said he had been outed as gay about a year and half before his death. His friends told KCCI that schoolmates constantly made fun of him, ridiculing him for being gay, for being half African American, and for his cleft lip.
“He’s different. He doesn’t add up to what they’re used to,” Noah Lahmann, the teen’s best friend, told the news station.
Before he died, Betts had a request: Donate my organs. A 14-year-old boy received Betts’s heart, according to a letter Moore received, but she said his eyes were rejected.
A Food and Drug Administration’s guidance for donor eligibility says men who have had sex with men in the past five years “should” be ruled as “ineligible” for donating certain tissues, labeling their behavior a “risk factor.”
“My initial feeling was just very angry because I couldn’t understand why my 16-year-old son’s eyes couldn’t be donated just because he was gay,” Moore said, according to KCCI.
The FDA’s guidance reflects its ban on blood from men who have sex with men. That policy is a by-product of the AIDS crisis that ripped through the gay men’s community decades ago.
     The FDA explains its much harder line regarding blood as such: Men who have had sex with men “at any time since 1977 (the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States) are currently deferred as blood donors” because “a history of male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk for exposure to and transmission of certain infectious diseases, including HIV.”   Critics have long called the policy discriminatory, but the FDA says it’s necessary: “FDA’s deferral policy is based on the documented increased risk of certain transfusion transmissible infections, such as HIV, associated with male-to-male sex and is not based on any judgment concerning the donor’s sexual orientation.”
     In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Glenn Cohen, a bioethics law professor at the Harvard Law School, wrote that the United States should repeal the rules about blood. “We think it’s time for the FDA to take a serious look at this policy, because it’s out of step with peer countries, it’s out of step with modern medicine, it’s out of step with public opinion, and we feel it may be legally problematic,” he told CBSCohen notes some contradictions in the FDA blood ban: Men who have sex with HIV-positive women or sex workers are banned for only a year.
Last summer, the American Medical Association voted to end the ban. According to Time magazine, William Kobler, a board member for the the association, said in a statement, “The lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men is discriminatory and not based on sound science.”
 (THE STORY CONTINUES IN THE WASHINGTON POST)
 FULL STORY: Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/15/gay-teens-organ-donation-rejected/?tid=hp_mm

STORY: http://www.examiner.com/article/mother-outraged-after-leaning-her-deceased-gay-son-s-eye-donation-was-rejected?CID=examiner_alerts_article 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14