Who does George Smitherman represent?
Posted: January 24, 2008, 3:51 PM by Colby Cosh, The National Post
This article is about Canada's imposition of sweeping restrictions on who can donate organs for transplant -- including a ban on gay men who have been sexually active in the past five years. Ontario's Minister of Health, George Smitherman, who is openly gay, blasted these restrictions as "offensive" and this response by Colby Cash of the National Post is an opposing view.
From The National Post in Canada:
George Smitherman’s attempt to stir controversy by criticizing the federal government’s guidelines for organ donation leaves us wondering who he really represents as Health Minister of Ontario.
A directive issued last summer by Health Canada, but only noticed now by Mr. Smitherman, formalized the long-standing and clinically accepted practice of labelling organs from the donor pool if they have come from a member of a group that is at high risk for serious blood-borne diseases. The risk groups identified in the document include prison inmates, recent recipients of tattoos or piercings, non-medical intravenous drug users, prostitutes, and men who have had sex with another man within the past five years. (Regulators are careful nowadays in the latter case to restrict organ and blood donation according to behaviour, not sexual orientation; the category of men who have sex with men (“MSM”) excludes more self-described heterosexuals than one might imagine.) Read the full article for more on the controversy.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Your generosity can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance another 50 through tissue donation