A dying man who wished to donate his tissue was rejected by doctors because he is gay.
New Zealander Corey Eteveneaux was admitted to hospital in a critical condition after suffering a car crash in February of this year.
Days later, he passed from his injuries. But when his parents offered Corey’s heart valves and corneas for donation, they believed they were rejected because of his sexuality.
Eteveneaux and boyfriend Daniel Jacobs had tested for HIV when they began dating and both were negative.
Man’s organs rejected due to ‘lifestyle’
However, men who have sex with men are banned from donating blood or tissue for 12 months in New Zealand, regardless of their safe-sex practices. This policy is dictated by the NZ Blood Service.
A spokesperson for Organ Donation NZ told Gay Star News that there are very few instances where organ donation cannot happen.
‘Organ donation can happen in most circumstances when people are in ICU and are diagnosed as brain dead,’ the spokesperson said.
Eteveneaux’s mother Cherie explained what happened when doctors refused her son’s donation.
‘I spoke with a woman from Organ Donation NZ and initially I thought she wanted to speak to me about Corey’s tattoos and when the last time was he had work done,’ Cherie told Stuff.
‘Instead, she told me they couldn’t take Corey’s heart valves or corneas because of his lifestyle.’
‘People are suffering out there and we could have potentially helped them’
‘Eventually she said it was because he’s a homosexual man. Corey was a fit, healthy young man and I thought his heart valves would have been snapped up,’ Cherie said.
‘It just doesn’t make sense. There are people who are suffering out there and we could have potentially helped them.’
Boyfriend Jacobs also said: ‘I can’t see why we as homosexual men need to be discriminated against for what we do behind closed doors.
‘We’re still humans, we’re no different to any people walking down the street.
‘I know Corey would have loved to have helped someone, but some poor family has lost out,’ he added.