Organ Donation and Homosexuals

  1. 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 to calm down. Anyway, he specifically told us about his partner being an organ donor. Even the coroner who came and ruled this a cardiac death mentioned to make sure about organ donation.

    I call kidney one go through all their ?s and what happened. Then I progress to the next level and another rep calls me back go through EVERYTHING all over. Finally I mentioned something about the pt's life partner and slap instantly this pt's rejected due to "high risk behavior."

    Now from my understanding the thing probably of concern is transmitting aids even with the organs tested if just infected will not show up. I really think this couple was in a monogamous relationship. They had been together for over 5 years. The guy was probably much healthier and less riskier than some other organs donated. I can see that with anal sex you can cause tearing more and transmit aids and that is probably the high risk the criteria is for but is ther percentage that great to reject organs for donation? I heard people with tatoos are rejected for blood (I don't know about organ donation). Still even with this in mind I was still quite surprised. Especially it deemed "high risk behavior." Because that is not necesarilly so. I would think risky behavior is multiple sex partners and yes that is but that's with all groups.

    I mentioned this to my friend and instantly she states it's like this because aids is "astronomical" in homosexual populations. Is that really so? I know she is against homosexuality very much and absolutely know that is in her mind as well but with anal sex there is more tearing and potential but does anybody know actual numbers from an acredited sorce? I know in the 80s aids was really pushed out there because it was found in the homosexual poplulation. I suppose I can look on a main aids site or gov type thing. I'm comming accross just random pages with no substance to back it.

    Is this risk really that relavant? And should it be deemed "high risk." And one article I read type cast homosexuals in general so what about lesbians? I know donations have to be screened excessively but is this too much?

    --broke my huge paragraph up hope it helps to read it!!
    Last edit by mysticalwaters1 on Sep 29, '06 : Reason: help people read it better
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    About mysticalwaters1

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 353; Likes: 9
    Just started in the Emergency Department!
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in ER (new), Respitory/Med Surg floor

    117 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    This is a shame because a presumably healthy homosexual's perfectly good organs are going to waste. His organs could have saved numerous lives and bestowed renewed hope upon the families who are desperate to see their loved ones alive and well.

    This is slightly off the subject, but that one huge block of paragraph is quite hard on the eyes.
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    My guess is that was the personal opinion of the donor rep and NOT the organization. I could be wrong about that, but there is a way to find out.

    If you WANT to pursue the issue, most donor organizations have a liason for all the hospitals in their districts. I'd call the organization and ask to speak to your liason, and ask THEM about the official policy.

    IF this deferral falls outside official policy, on that chart you should have written down the rep's ID number, as this is standard practice. I'd let the liason know THAT, too.

    Too many people need an organ (even if it is just kidney and skin/eye bank donations as the person isn't a 'living donor') for personal bias to come into play. It's completely unethical, and not just to the donor, but to the potential donee.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 29, '06
  5. by   Tweety
    I understand that the majority of AIDS cases are male homosexuals.

    However, it bothers me that as a gay man I can't donate blood or donate organs. My high risk sexual behavior is that I've been in two monogomous relationships, slept with two people in my adult life. I recently tested negative for HIV and immune to Hep. due to a needlestick, but can't donate blood.

    I'm aging so it's a mute point, but should I become suddenly brain dead with viable organs it's sad someone will die on a waiting list somewhere as I'm being rejected for my "high risk behavior".
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 29, '06
  6. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Tweety
    I'm aging so it's a mute point, but should I become suddenly brain dead with viable organs it's sad someone will die on a waiting list somewhere as I'm being rejected for my "high risk behavior".
    I'm not allowed to donate blood because I once shared living quarters with my parents who are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. I don't have Hepatitis, but I am considered a "high risk" for having once shared living quarters with my parents. By the way, I have not lived with my parents for several years, yet I'm still not allowed to donate blood products.
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I'm not allowed to donate blood because I once shared living quarters with my parents who are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. I don't have Hepatitis, but I am considered a "high risk" for having once shared living quarters with my parents. By the way, I have not lived with my parents for several years, yet I'm still not allowed to donate blood products.

    I didn't realize that. I suppose you can't be too careful.

    Do they reject nurses on the same grounds? My being a nurse is more hazardous to my health than my sex life has been.
  8. by   supernurse65
    TOTALLY agree Tweety. a nurse is "exposed" to EVERYTHING.... so maybe nurses shouldnt be able to donate blood or organs. do to their "high risk" atmosphere.
  9. by   mysticalwaters1
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    My guess is that was the personal opinion of the donor rep and NOT the organization. I could be wrong about that, but there is a way to find out.

    If you WANT to pursue the issue, most donor organizations have a liason for all the hospitals in their districts. I'd call the organization and ask to speak to your liason, and ask THEM about the official policy.

    IF this deferral falls outside official policy, on that chart you should have written down the rep's ID number, as this is standard practice. I'd let the liason know THAT, too.
    I didn't see it but my coworkers stated it's the policy of kidney one. I'll have to ask them next time or find some written guidline. And YES we have a form and take down all the names and reference # however the #was the first call I made who made a file. That person advanced it further and I had another rep and put the name in my chart but no number for that. But the first # is related to the same case. Anyway I documented it all and put denied due to "high risk behavior" as per so and so. I felt guilty doing it. Maybe I should have pushed further. I was totally caught off gaurd. And sadly I really think donating the organs would have helped his partner too. He even told us he was an organ donor so he wanted it to be that way.
  10. by   mysticalwaters1
    Quote from Tweety
    I didn't realize that. I suppose you can't be too careful.

    Do they reject nurses on the same grounds? My being a nurse is more hazardous to my health than my sex life has been.
    WOW! You're right!!! See where is the line drawn to decipher grounds for organ donation?
  11. by   smoo
    You know, if myself or a family member was going to die without a transplant of some kind and there was another person willing to donate I would take it regardless of sexual preference. I guess I just don't understand. It's sad to think someone's life could have possibly been saved, but because the person was homosexual he couldn't donate an organ to save that life.

    What if it is a heterosexual who has had an active sex life? Are they disqualified too?

    smoo
  12. by   Larry77
    Fastest growing new AIDS cases is actually heterosexual females...(saw a special on Discovery channel)

    So what about all the women who experiment with anal sex? Is sad to me that this shows that all the AIDS phobia is still around.
  13. by   rjflyn
    I think that way it is looked at as far as blood donation and organs as well is that the exchange of fluids from even one homosexual encounter is far greater than that of a needle stick. As well there are some instances of a people developing HIV infection as far as 10 yrs out from said encounters.

    As far as the question of or someone not being able to donate blood as they lived with their HepC positive parents years ago im not sure of. Most of those type questions on the blood donor question form as I recall mention the previous 12 months.

    In fact this form http://www.mayoclinic.org/donatebloo...ry-consent.pdf asks " In the past 12 months have you ----23. Lived with a person who has hepatitis?.."

    Rj
  14. by   Melina
    Quote from Larry77
    Fastest growing new AIDS cases is actually heterosexual females...(saw a special on Discovery channel)

    So what about all the women who experiment with anal sex? Is sad to me that this shows that all the AIDS phobia is still around.

    THANK YOU, Larry. AIDS is rising again amongst gay men, but the greatest population in the US is currently Black hetro females. Blacks in general have the highest rates. We represent about 13% of the US population, but one half of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States are from the Black community(cdc.gov). Another thing to keep in mind is the risk is anal sex, an act not all gay men practice. Personally, I would rather have a gay man's kidney then one from some straight men I know.



    ~Mel'

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