Are the guidelines used to screen potential blood donors discriminatory?
This question will be the subject of the talk given at this year’s Undergraduate Conference in Public Health, the theme of which is “Giving Life to Public Health.” The keynote speaker will be Dr. Richard Benjamin, Chief Medical Director of the American Red Cross, whose talk is entitled “Controversial Public Health Aspects of Blood Donation: When Donor Selection and Discrimination Collide.”
The conference will be held:
- Thursday, April 9, 2015, 3 – 8pm
- Charles Commons Ballroom
- Free registration is available on the homepage of the website or on the Facebook page
Who can donate blood? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s page entitled “Donating Blood: Questions and Answers” says that:
“A person’s suitability to donate blood depends on two general considerations: that the donation will not be injurious to the donor, and that the donated blood will not be unnecessarily hazardous to the recipient.”
For example, in order to donate blood, you must be old enough, weigh enough, and feel well. More specifically, you can be ineligible to donate if you are on certain medications, have certain medical conditions, have visited certain countries within given dates, or have had recent organ transplants or body piercings; there is a long list of criteria that must be considered.
Do any of these guidelines discriminate (a word with at least three definitions) against anyone?
- On the bottom right, choose MeSH Database (“Medical Subject Headings”) — use this amazing thesaurus so that you don’t have to guess about what search words to use
- Enter blood plus the letter “d” to see all of the choices; e.g., “blood donor,” “blood donation”; choose blood donors
- MeSH terms also have subheadings — you can check the boxes for ETHICS and for LEGISLATION AND JURISPRUDENCE
- Click the button labeled Add to search builder
- Then click Search PubMed
- Here are the results for your search for articles about EITHER ethics OR law concerning blood donors
- If you wish, use the filters on the left to refine your search to those written in English, written about human beings, and published within the past five years