A Response to Commentaries on “Blood Donation, Deferral, and Discrimination”

American Journal of Bioethics 10 (2):4-5 (2010)


U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy prohibits blood donation from men who have had sex with men even one time since 1977. Growing moral criticism claims that this policy is discriminatory, a claim rejected by the FDA. An overview of U.S. blood donation, recent donor deferral policy, and the conventional ethical debate introduce the need for a different approach to analyzing discrimination claims. I draw on an institutional understanding of injustice to discern and describe five features of the MSM policy and its FDA context that contribute to its discriminatory effect. I note significant similarities in the 1980s policy of deferring Haitians, suggesting an historical pattern of discrimination in FDA deferral policy. Finally, I point to changes needed to move toward a nondiscriminatory deferral policy.

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References found in this work

Blood Donation and Its Metaphors.Craig M. Klugman - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (2):46-47.
The Expressive Dimension of Donor Deferral.Dov Fox - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (2):42-43.

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