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Cain v Australian Red Cross Society: the case for universal blood donation reform


Croome, R and Bartl, B, Cain v Australian Red Cross Society: the case for universal blood donation reform, Journal of Law and Medicine, 20, (3) pp. 671-691. ISSN 1320-159X (2013) [Refereed Article]

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This article reports on a recent Australian decision in which an Anti-Discrimination Tribunal was asked to rule on whether the exclusion of homosexual men from blood donation amounted to discrimination. While the tribunal ultimately found that the Red Cross's policy of "deferring" all donors who are men who have sex with men (MSM) within the last 12 months was "reasonable", the case is an important step forward for advocates of blood donation reform, given the consensus reached by many of the experts who gave evidence and importantly the tribunal's implicit rejection of the MSM donor deferral policies of most of the world's industrialised countries, including the United States of America, Canada and much of continental Europe. The article concludes by calling on governments, research institutes and universities to initiate the needed medical and sociological studies so that ultimately blood donor suitability is determined on the specific question of sexual behaviour and not the clumsy, awkward and ultimately discriminatory MSM question that remains in operation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia; Blood Donors; Donor Selection; Homosexuality, Male; Humans; Male; Red Cross
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Human rights and justice issues (excl. law)
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Work and family responsibilities
UTAS Author:Croome, R (Mr Rodney Croome)
ID Code:87572
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2013-11-25
Last Modified:2014-08-01

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