Organ Donation and Homosexuals - page 4

Hey everyone. I had a pt come into the ER in full cardiac arrest. Didn't make it. 56 yr old really sad. He had a life partner who was extremely distraught and actually signed in to get medication... Read More

  1. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Corvette Guy
    SBE: My apologies for the confusion, but my previous post was regards to both homosexual & heterosexual monogomous relationships which practice unsafe sex. I was NOT intending to be negatively bias towards homosexuals in the least bit.
    I use the (based on those biannual required FL CEUs) term MSM (men having sex w/ men).

    Homosexual is not appropriate for risk issues. Many MSMs do not consider themselves homosexual (on the "down low"). And lesbians are not barred from donations based on their homosexuality, since they have a lower risk of HIV infection that heterosexuals of either gender.

    MSMs also include bisexual males.

    It tends to identify the behavior without "labeling" it.
  2. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from Tweety
    I'm not understanding you. Two HIV negative people in a monogomous relationship, regardless of sexual practices, are going to remain HIV negative beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    Again, my apologies for any misunderstanding. I was referring to a monogomous couple [no matter their sexual orientation] that practices anal sex. I was trying to make the point the word monogomous, alone, is not a qualifier of safety. BTW, a previous post by another member actually made a similar statement. Anyway, I don't know how more clearly I can be? I never mentioned anything about HIV testing. Yet, I do agree with what you are saying, too.

    Originally Posted by Corvette Guy
    Monogamous relationship? Monogamy is the custom or condition of having only one mate during a period of time. So, two people in a monogamous relationship that practice [lack of a better word] anal sex certainly provide a shadow of doubt.

  3. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    post rescinded.

    Good thoughts by all here.
    Which post is that?
  4. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    Don't take this as me trying to slam you, I'm really not. I've always really appreciated the respectful tone of your posts, even when I disagree with your point of view.

    Yes, you're correct about the definition of monogamy, but your post got me thinking- with the increase in young people (down to middle-school kids, sadly) choosing to have anal and/or oral sex to 'keep their virginity', I have to wonder if the exclusion of male homosexuals from organ and tissue donation should be rethought- I mean, think about the example someone gave of college campus blood drives. Even when I was in college in the early 90's, the risky behaviour practiced by *many* people I knew- gay, straight, male, female- would've made most ineligible for donation. That situation is FAR worse today than it was 15 years ago. In fact, I read a study a couple of years ago that since AIDS treatments and prevention have shifted the media's attention away from the disease in recent years, unsafe sex practices have gone up dramatically in some areas. I would love to know what percentage of heterosexual blood donors have actually engaged in behaviour that should exclude them, compared to that statistic among homosexual men (or, as the researchers now define it, men who have sex with men- MSM).

    I'm a huge, huge advocate of organ donation- I worked in a neuro ICU and saw SO many brain-dead patients whose families refused to honor the patient's wishes to be a donor, because they wanted them to 'go to heaven intact'. It was even harder to see it in the PICU because I can empathise more with parents not wanting their child to have organs harvested. There's a terrible lack of understanding in the public about the need for organ donors, and (at least where I worked) families weren't approached with the topic until brain death was imminent- for many families, it's just too much to take in at such an enormously stressful time. It's hard to feel empathy for someone whose life could be saved when your family member is dying.

    The ideal situation would be if more people were willing to be donors- and told their families about it! Everyone in my family has known I wanted to be a donor since I first heard about it as a little kid. Maybe if there were enough organs to go around, then *anyone* who was high-risk for any reason at all could be excluded.

    I do understand both sides- my brother in law has hepatitis C from a transfusion he received in the 80s. He and my sister were tested annually for HIV the entire time they were married, and both their kids were tested.

    The whole thing is just so sad.
    Huh? I'm very confused about the slam reference. :uhoh21:

    At any rate, I did not see from your post where you slammed me, or disagreed with me... at least I agree with your point of view above & enjoyed your post. Plus, I appreciated your kind words, too. I try my best to be respectful of everyone, but some how find myself being misunderstood, sometimes, LOL.
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from Corvette Guy
    Monogamous relationship? Monogamy is the custom or condition of having only one mate during a period of time. So, two people in a monogamous relationship that practice [lack of a better word] anal sex certainly provide a shadow of doubt.
    To clarify my post: Both partners are faithful to each other. Both are tested at regular intervals, both are neg for HIV and hep, both do not sleep with anyone else but their partner. That's what I meant by monogamous.

    I'm just wondering if this could be proven, if one were to die unexpectedly, why could that person not be considered for donation?
  6. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from Tweety
    I don't think's it's prejudice that motivates them, it's fear and some practicality.

    I understand that as a gay man, I fall in a high risk category because you can't argue with facts. Gay men still make up the largest group of HIV carriers.

    However, the fact remains that there are potentially millions of HIV negative men, engaging in safe sex, or no sex, or monogamous sex with another HIV negative partner that can't donate and to me that's bitterly disappointing.

    Rapid HIV tests are becoming available. I hope that these can be used to remove the stigma of gay people being potentially tainted. Because despite the tens of thousands of gay men with HIV, there are millions more of us who aren't ashamed to say we're gay, who are honorable enough to want to donate, but can't.
    And I find this to be very sad. There are so many people who could benefit by organ donation. If the person was deemed not to be infected with HIV or Hep, I feel that they should be eligible for donation. But in a case like this in which this man died suddenly, I guess there isn't time to verify that these tests have been done.
  7. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from BabyRN2Be
    To clarify my post: Both partners are faithful to each other. Both are tested at regular intervals, both are neg for HIV and hep, both do not sleep with anyone else but their partner. That's what I meant by monogamous.

    I'm just wondering if this could be proven, if one were to die unexpectedly, why could that person not be considered for donation?
    Safe then to include the above partners do not practice anal sex... just to clarify?
  8. by   gwenith
    Interestingly here, sexuality is not even mentioned!!

    http://www.organdonor.com.au/cfm/Sma...ft/default.cfm

    Only that you cannot be a donor if you have HIV or active Cancer. That is it!!
  9. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from gwenith
    Interestingly here, sexuality is not even mentioned!!

    http://www.organdonor.com.au/cfm/Sma...ft/default.cfm

    Only that you cannot be a donor if you have HIV or active Cancer. That is it!!
    Very interesting!

    Who can become an organ donor when they die?Anyone from the age of 12 months up to the age of 90 can potentially become an organ and tissue donor.

    However, less than 1% of deaths occur in such a way that organ donation is possible.
    The person must die in hospital of a major brain injury (usually in an intensive care unit) and they are always attached to a ventilator (a machine which supports breathing) when they die.

    The ventilator machine maintains oxygen supply to all of the vital organs. This ensures the organs are still suitable for transplantation.

    Tissue donation (ie donation of corneas, bone, skin and heart valves) is possible in a wider range of circumstances.

    You cannot be an organ donor if you are HIV positive or have cancer at the time of your death. You may become an organ donor if you have been cancer free for five or more years.

    Contrary to common belief, you can still be an organ and tissue donor if you smoke, wear glasses, drink alcohol or regularly take medication.
  10. by   ortess1971
    I was able to donate blood recently, and I have 4 tattoos-they knew about them, and told me that it's only a problem if you've gotten one in the past year. One of the fastest growing groups for HIV infection are heterosexual women. I find it sad that many qualified people are turned away from giving blood-they test everyone's blood before they use it so where's the problem?
  11. by   EricJRN
    Quote from ortess1971
    they test everyone's blood before they use it so where's the problem?
    The problem lies in the fact that no test is ever 100% foolproof, so the national standard for donor blood collection involves a combination of blood testing and donor interview to screen for high-risk practices. I'm sure that the same premise underlies some of the guidelines for organ donation.
  12. by   maryshome8
    I 100% agree with you...this is what is stupid about these policies and the Red Cross.

    Nobody asks if you have ever been a prostitute.

    Nobody asks if a person is sexually promiscuous.

    Yet, AIDS is still treated as a gay disease.
  13. by   maryshome8
    Quote from caroladybelle
    My understanding is that MSMs are not permitted to donate blood or marrow. Thus (given that you can test blood/marrow more comprehensively than organs - time is not as great an issue), I can see where the ban on donating organs is consistant.

    Due to my medical history and transfusion history, I am not permitted to donate organs or blood, so you really can't chalk it up prejudice.

    It seems like something to quibble over...each person's presumed risky behavior. But take into account the lawsuits over passing on contaminated tissue, and you can see the concern.

    As far as nurses coming in contact with everything, we also have access to PPE. We also presumably(?) take greater care with our hygiene, than the public.

    There is no one completely free of risks. But as someone that got transfused with blood, known later to be contaminated, I will never be permitted to donate anything....though I have always tested negative. And I can understand the concern.

    Also think of this. Patients that have been treated for cancer (chemo/rad) are frequently not permitted to donate blood/most transplant organs. This despite that research has not seen any link with recipients having a higher risk of cancer and that the organs were not permanently affected by chemo.
    I actually understand why they won't allow cancer patients to donate...because ultimately, no one knows what causes cancer.

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