FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 8, 2008
NDP CALLS ORGAN DONATION POLICY DISCRIMINATORY
OTTAWA - Health Canada’s decision to ban organ donations from gay men is discriminatory and wrong, said NDP critic for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Transsexual Issues, Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas).
“I am very concerned about this new Health Canada regulation to exclude gay men as organ donors. In the past, transplants have been done with organs from donors who may have been considered high risk providing they tested negative for diseases. If there are health and disease issues, they are best addressed by testing and not by a discriminatory ban against the participation of a group of Canadians. Given the serious nature of those diseases, such testing should be universal,” said Siksay.
“This ill-conceived policy may deny seriously ill Canadians much needed organs,” continued Siksay. “Organ donation saves lives and these new rules will take away that opportunity from many Canadians.”
“The government has offered no health-based justification for this decision that would seriously cut back our organ donation capacity,” said NDP Health Critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North). “This makes no sense when so many Canadians in life-and-death situations have to endure agonizing waits for donated organs that are already in unacceptably short supply.”
“I call on the Minister of Health to urgently review this policy and focus on testing for specific disease issues not on discriminating against potential donors based on sexual orientation. These new regulations simply send an incorrect message about health and sexual orientation and should be reversed,” concluded Siksay.
For more information, please contact:
Office of Bill Siksay, MP 613-996-5597