Since the mid of 1980s, Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in United States has been mandated screening for all blood donors in advance through a series of questionnaires. Consequently homosexual men, also known as men having sex with men (MSM), are prorogued from donating blood permanently, because of those of those stern guidelines, once they own up to pursuing in sexual activities even once since the year 1977. The NAT- Nucleic Acid Testing technology is serving to lessen the peril of having an infected blood product in every 2.3 million units to 1. Barring all gay donors from donating blood is taking out several healthy contenders from this philanthropic work and has various negative ethical entailments particularly in the field of justice or impartiality, reverence of human self-esteem, and usefulness among others. This paper aims an argumentative analysis on the permitting of homosexual and bisexual men to donate blood.
Discussion and Analysis
Historical Background of Policy Ban
By the late 1980s, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) turned in to a pandemic, and in United States alone, up to 800,000 individuals were tainted with this virus. (Moss, 55-62) Homosexual men were in the majority contaminated by this virus and that explicates the rationale this virus is related to this specific group. The Food and Drug Administration, as a consequence of this historical incident, prohibited homosexual and bisexual men from donating blood for an indefinite period, while at the same time put off other high-risk groups from donating blood for a set time period i.e. for one year (FDA, 2010). As a result, this policy produced an immense disputation particularly since this ban diverges among the developed countries. The United Kingdom, United States and France ban gay men indefinitely from donating blood, while Australia and Japan inflict a 12 month deferral period, and Spain and Italy abstain from enforcing any restraint to this risk group.
Utilitarian theory supports permitting of gay men to donate blood. This ethical principle illustrates an act that provides to turn out the maximum proportion of positive worth upon disvalue or carry out the utmost good for the utmost number (Beauchamp, 337). The addition of the 14,000 and 75,000 blood units (while keeping up a very minimum to negligible infectivity risk of below 0.5%), would extensively invigorate the maximum good (Anderson, et al., 1102-1114)
In the United States and in fact around the globe, blood shortage exists and therefore there is an increasing demand of the blood supply. The numbers of surgery days deferred in 2006 were around 1- 16 days; which were higher as compared to the year 2001 and 2004.
Furthermore, due to blood shortages, a sum of postponed surgeries was over 400. (Whitaker, n.d.) The blood shortage is globally terrible. 1-3 % of the donor population must be reported for the maintenance of an ample blood supply. According to a report by WHO (2007), among 172 countries, there are 80 countries where less than 1% of the population only donates blood. (Improving blood ...