Gay men's blood donation not allowed

The Ontario Superior Court has ruled that it is acceptable for the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to refuse blood donations from gay men. This includes men who have had sex, even once, with other men since 1977.

CBS is a non-for-profit charitable institution that manages the blood supply for all the provinces and territories in Canada except Quebec. It is regulated by Health Canada and the directors are appointed by provincial governments.

The court has rejected a claim that the CBS is violating Section 15 of the charter by refusing blood donations from this group of men. The ruling is based on the premise that not-for-profit institutions are usually not subject to the charter. There are concerns by some that this could lead to other agencies stating that they do not need to worry about the Charter of Rights.

The court went on to say that there is evidence that gay or bi-sexual men have a higher prevalence of HIV and other blood-borne sexually transmitted pathogens so this provides a factual basis for the CBS policy.

In Canada it is held that donating blood is a privilege, not a right.