Italian hospital bans ‘gay’ blood despite the law

Blood donation now banned for gay men in Lanciano, central Italy. An LGBT association wants to sue the hospital

Italian hospital bans ‘gay’ blood despite the law
26 April 2012

LGBT activists from central Italy's Jonathan organization want to sue a hospital which has banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

The Floraspe Renzetti hospital in the small city of Lanciano has issued a document listing new rules for blood donors. And donations are not allowed for those who have had ‘gay sex’.

The Italian law does not ban lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from giving blood. But, in the Mediterranean country, from north to south, some hospitals do not respect the law.

The 11 points of the document issued by the hospital specify that those who have had sex with ‘unknown temporary partners’ are also banned from giving blood.

But, according to the association, the hospital should only ban ‘people who have practised unprotected sex.’

One week ago, another hospital in Rome refused ‘gay blood’. The news appeared in Roman newspaper Il Tempo. 'Luca A', a 40-year-old Neapolitan, who found he could not donate his blood has launched an appeal.

He said: ‘This is discrimination. I have a stable partner and I don’t have unprotected sex. The hospital, the Policlinico Umberto I, did not want my blood. This is unfair and illegal.’

In the Lanciano case, the association Jonathan is thinking about sueing the hospital.

The controversy in Italy is between those defending the law introduced a decade ago which allowed gay and bisexual men to give blood and a law issued in 2005, which permitted hospitals to prohibit donors from certain ‘a rischio’ [at risk] categories.



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