HIGH RISK

Man’s Donated Organs Rejected Because He Was Gay

wdr-620-campana-rockyDespite signing up to being an organ donor, Rocky Campana’s organs were not accepted following his death because he was gay.

Campana had unsuccessfully attempted suicide and was taken off life support last August.

According to his mother, Nancy, she was asked about his sexual activity including questions about whether or not he was gay and if he was sexually active or had a partner.

After confirming that he was both, Trillium Gift of Life said that they could not accept his organs.

Although upsetting, the decision didn’t violate Health Canada’s rules. In 2007, it had changed donation rules for sexually active gay men and injection drug users.

According to Health Canada policy:

  • A gay man who had practiced abstinence for five years prior to organ donation would be considered an acceptable donor.
  • A heterosexual man who has had a single sexual encounter with a male within the past five years would not be considered an acceptable donor.

These rules are similar to similar to donating blood, which limits who can donate to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV.

While Rocky’s friends understood the situation, Nancy found the news to be a shock.

“When I got off the phone to relay that to both [Rocky’s father] Rob and a lot of Rocky’s friends … many of them broke down,” she told CBC. “The gay ones said, ‘Nancy, we can’t donate blood; they’re not going to take our organs.'”

Though not all are planning to let the rules stand. According to the CBC, petitions are being developed to challenge the new policies to make it easier for gay men to donate.

Photo: CBC

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47 Comments

  • demetreus

    I SUGGEST ALL GAY MEN READ ABOUT THE THE “HEPATITIS VACCINE” TRIALS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE LATE 70s IN NYC AND SAN FRANCISCO. USING THOUSANDS OF GAY MEN AS GUINEA PIGS! YEARS LATER, WE ALL STARTED DYING FROM A “GAY CANCER” KNOWN AS AIDS.

    http://rense.com/general68/gayex.htm

    THE LAW STATES THAT ANY MAN THAT HAS HAD SEX WITH ANOTHER MAN AFTER 1977 CANNOT DONATE BLOOD!

    COINCIDENCE?

  • tardis

    Stories like these are always interesting to me because they carry implications on
    both sides. For starters, you have a social discrimination where you have members
    of society stigmatized and implicated, and on the other hand, from a medical
    perspective, HIV rates are severely high in the gay community.

    Still, to me,
    this is more about discrimination than it is about a sanctity to medicine, because,
    after all, HIV affects both orientations. I wish men had more self-respect, tough.
    As you can see, it’s a very multi-layered issue.

    Statistically speaking, the opposition has a sound, valid argument that trumps
    the other side, and I don’t mean that in a “they’re right” kind of way. The card just falls in their favor, but then again, isn’t there adequate testing services? What does that say about medicine? Curiouser and curiouser.

  • DarkZephyr

    How sad that he felt we depressed that suicide was the answer to whatever it was that had him down. :(

  • DarkZephyr

    @DarkZephyr: make that “so” depressed.

  • RSun

    I am Canadian. When friends or work colleagues ask if I give blood and I tell them I can’t, they are shocked. Especially because I have been in a monogamous relationship for nearly 20 years. It is so ridiculous. I guess the health system doesn’t need blood THAT badly after all.

  • Daniel-Reader

    The policies are not based on science. They are grounded in prejudice – the presumption that gays who have sex are somehow unworthy while heteros are somehow saintly. It is disturbingly bigoted and I would not trust any so-called “scientific” organization that is so blindly prejudiced against any group in this manner. Such an organization could not be trusted not to be doing other unethical activities against people.

  • longpastdue

    Ok this is obviously a very loaded issue but in some sense I can kind of understand it. HIV has one of the longest incubation periods of any disease. When you are dealing with blood or organs despite all the testing you can do you are still playing a numbers game, some people regardless of anything you can do are still going to get infected with various diseases so any policy that cuts down on that number is probably wise. Now if you wanted to go with that argument I do think some other policies should be in place. Something along the lines of, have you had unprotected sex with anyone in the last year. Granted this would cut out a HUGE population so I guess you just do what you can. I do happen to know quite a few people who lie on these though. Ultimately I just don’t see these rules changing until one way or another the rates of HIV in the Gay and Straight populations are equal. So basically, lets just have safe sex and bring these numbers down cause that’s just a win/win.

  • Peter

    We are always being persecuted. I’m sick of it. Heteros hate us, just cause we’re gay. True, we account for over 50% of all HIV infections, but that’s no reason for organ rejection. And I admit they found trace amounts of drugs in his system but still, they should have just used his organs anyway. I say we boycott the hospital.

  • hyhybt

    @longpastdue: I can understand the blood donation ban. It’s not *right,* but it makes more sense in that case to be overly cautious so long as there’s enough blood coming in through donors eligible under the existing rules.

    There have NEVER been plenty of organ donors. With matching being more complicated, death usually necessary, and time so limited, it just doesn’t happen. And those waiting for an organ are generally in pretty bad shape. Does it not, in that case, make sense to accept apparently-healthy organs from someone who tests negative, even with the slight possibility that the test is wrong or they’re at too early a stage for it to show? AIDS is horrible, and transplant recipients already have to have their immune systems suppressed, but the odds should still be greatly in their favor for not getting it, and even if they do, they probably will live longer than with no transplant at all.

    That for the big stuff, at least.

  • Billysees

    Best comments —

    @longpastdue: 7

    “So basically, lets just have safe sex and bring these numbers down cause that’s just a win/win.”

    @hyhybt: 9

    “…..transplant recipients…..will live longer than with no transplant at all.”

  • Billysees

    @DarkZephyr: 3

    Suicide hurts so many people, family and friends.

    You wonder why anyone would do such a thing.

    But depression must be the cause here and it can’t be easily understood.

  • viveutvivas

    Although the policy was understandable way back when it could take 6 months after infection for an HIV test to show the infection, today there are blood tests (PCR) that can rule out HIV within 2 weeks of infection if not sooner, so the policy is highly outdated.

  • gppm1103

    @RSun: The rule in Canada and the US is so misguided.
    They are going to ask if a guy has been abstinent for five years…and he’s ok? What if he just lies? And you can bet the heterosexual man isn’t going to answer that.

    Why not just test?

  • LaTeesha

    I have refused to be an organ donor. I have no desire for my organs to be used to save the life of a straight person. Let them help each other. They’ve never helped me so why would I help them upon my death?

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @Peter:

    @Peter:

    That’s cute, Peter. I like how you pretend to protest, yet trash gay men–especially the gay man in this story. What I find amusing is that the Red Cross, and hospitals have no problem taking blood, and organs from black straight people, even though they account for a high number of HIV cases, and drug use. But you keep on trashing gay men with your non-existent Facebook page.

  • theluckyone

    This is so fucked up.

  • Peter

    @Mr. E. Jones:

    The Red Cross is taking blood from blacks and not gays? What is the world coming to? I mean, how dare they take blood from black people and not from gay white men.

    I agree. Finger-pointing hypocrisy is very amusing.

  • tdx3fan

    Perhaps they should ban African American women from giving blood or donating organs. Not being racist at all! That is the largest rising population of HIV positive people. HIV among gays is actually declining.

  • tdx3fan

    Perhaps they should ban African American women from giving blood or donating organs since their infection numbers are climbing while gay men are dropping.

  • tdx3fan

    @gppm1103: My ex used to sell plasma all of the time because he lied on the questionnaire. He was extremely sexually active and a drug addict (it was a low point in my life), but they willing took his plasma and gave him money for it because he lied well.

  • tdx3fan

    @Peter: Oh I get it, this is the part where you get to claim you are a victim because you did not get to experience white privilege. Although, every leading study shows that poor white people are just as bad off as poor black people (if not worse since they do not benefit from many policies that poor blacks do).

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @Peter:

    The Red Cross is taking blood from blacks and not gays?

    Considering both groups have high rates of HIV infection, it does seem strange.

    What is the world coming to?

    It hasn’t come to anything; it’s always been where it is–bigoted towards gay men.

    I mean, how dare they take blood from black people and not from gay white men.

    Yes. How dare they take blood from straight black people who have a high incidence of HIV infection, and refuse to take blood from all gay men, even if they’ve been monogamous for years.

    I agree. Finger-pointing hypocrisy is very amusing.

    Especially from anti-gay bigots, Peter. But please keep trolling–I haven’t wiped the floor with a homophobe in a few months.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @tdx3fan:

    No, that would be bigoted, and racist. It’s ok to be anti-gay, however.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @tdx3fan:

    No, that would be bigoted, and anti-black. It’s ok to be anti-gay, however.

  • Eric Auerbach

    Ah, quit yer whining. Gay men get HIV at way higher rates than the general population. That’s a fact and that’s why these restrictions exist.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @tdx3fan:

    Oh I get it, this is the part where you get to claim you are a victim because you did not get to experience white privilege.

    Peter is just an anti-gay het trolling a gay blog. He would rather see people die without transplants, than see healthy gay men donate their blood, and organs.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @Eric Auerbach:

    So all sexually active gay men should be excluded from helping others, just because sluts like you spread disease amongst each other?

  • Eric Auerbach

    @Mr. E. Jones: So you think HIV is something “sluts” get? I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusting your words are. Please go back to the Westboro Baptist Church, and stay away from gay publications.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @Eric Auerbach:

    So you think HIV is something “sluts” get?

    No. Just sluts like you.

  • Eric Auerbach

    @Mr. E. Jones: Slut-shaming HIV-positive people. You’re disgusting.

  • hyhybt

    @LaTeesha: Organ donation is inherently a one-way kindness. How do you know the person (or people) who would receive yours wouldn’t have been good to you had they known you? What about the gay people (whether nice or otherwise; it’s not like sexual orientation is any indication whatsoever of goodness) who are on the waiting list?

  • hyhybt

    Please, y’all up there, don’t blame the Red Cross. Whatever the merits or otherwise of current regulations, they’re set by *governments* and the Red Cross has to operate within them.

  • balehead

    Why did he try to take his life?…..are we missing a real story here?…

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @Eric Auerbach:

    Slut-shaming HIV-positive people.

    Not all of them; just you.

  • LaTeesha

    @hyhybt: Stats show they wouldn’t have been good to me. Straight people can help their own kind. I won’t and will be taking my organs with me. I have specific instructions in my medical-legal paperwork that says my organs are not to be donated.

  • viveutvivas

    @Mr. E. Jones, are you TRYING to contribute to another suicide or are you just completely lacking in self-awareness?

    People, be kind. If we can learn something from this story, it is that you never know what personal pain someone may be dealing with, even some people who participate in forums like this one.

  • tardis

    Interesting comments. While I disagree with most of them, I certainly understand the frustration felt. Still, this isn’t an “us vs. them” issue and shouldn’t be molded as such. This is a complicated issue, but the reality of it is that HIV rates are severely high in the gay community. Although these types of bans are discriminatory based, the statistics speak for themselves. The opposition wins here. It’s not right, but it is a reality.

  • Fael

    On one hand I understand their point of view, on the other I think they do not have the right to complain and ask for blood and organ donors, is it their fault that lsck both!!! Here is the same, there are dozens and dozens of absurd conditions to donate, something impracticable for anyone who has a normal lifestyle, straight or gay. They should do a campaign to priests and nuns to donate, since it seems they are the only people able to meet these conditions.

  • DOFEK

    @theluckyone: That is way more then just FUCKED UP!! AdamHomo

  • Augusto

    I’ve was turned down as far as donating blood is concerned. I have a rare blood type and the Red Cross actually wanted to collect my blood on a regular basis and pay me for it (which is also quite rare). When they found out I was gay they told me to hit the door.

    Rocky Campana killing himself is my main focus. I had one younger brother hang himself at 20 years old and another older brother shoot himself at 53 years old. I loved them both very dearly and, of course, it was devastating to everyone involved. Committing suicide is always a very permanent solution to what may very well be a temporary problem.

    That said, I respect everyone’s right to end their own life if they’re mentally stable enough to make that decision.

  • Billysees

    @viveutvivas: 35

    Very well said friend and needs repeating —
    ———————————-
    “People, be kind. If we can learn something from this story, it is that you never know what

    personal pain someone may be dealing with, even some people who participate in forums like

    this one.”

  • Billysees

    @Augusto: 39

    Don’t you be the third brother.

    Suicide is the ugliest.

    Gird up the loins of your mind and hope to the end……….the Book.

  • jwrappaport

    @LaTeesha: You do know that there are gays on the waiting list for organ transplants? Oh, also straight people – whose lives and moral characters you know nothing about.

    Your compassion for a suffering human being shouldn’t be limited to your estimation of their support for gay equality.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    @tardis:

    but the reality of it is that HIV rates are severely high in the gay community. Although these types of bans are discriminatory based, the statistics speak for themselves.

    And as I wrote above; the Red Cross has no issue taking blood from sexually active black people, who also have a high rate of HIV infection, especially women. This isn’t about a person being sexually active, it’s about sexuality. That the Red Cross, and hospitals will view a monogamous gay man as a risk, but a sexually active straight person as safe, is discriminatory.

  • hyhybt

    @Mr. E. Jones: Well, again, it’s NOT the hospital or Red Cross making these decisions. It’s a matter of *law*. Complain about (or better yet, to) Congress/Parliament, not them.

  • litper

    Let them breeders die if they don’t need “filthy” gay organs!

Comments are closed.