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Gay teen denied opportunity to donate organs

photo illustration a real organ donor's card (Organspendeausweis)
photo illustration a real organ donor's card (Organspendeausweis)
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

According to an August 16 article on the AOL News website; a 16 year old boy had his final request for his vital organs to be donated denied. AJ Betts of Iowa signed up to be a donor a few months before committing suicide. His request was denied because he was openly gay. The FDA currently defines blood or tissue taken from an openly gay male as high risk.

According to the FDA; the rule does not apply solely to gay men. The rule also applies to intravenous users. The policy has been in effect since 1993. According to the Center for Disease Control; the only group with an increase in HIV cases was bisexual and gay black men. According to CDC data; blacks accounted for almost half (44%) of the newly reported HIV cases between 2006 & 2009.

The Bible addresses this complex issue with a number of scripture focused on healing. The book of John (14:12) speaks of the greater works that will be done by His (Christ’s) followers. Perhaps the most fitting scripture can be found in the book of James (4:17). It says that knowing to do good and not doing it is sinful. Would we have been outraged if AJ did not donate his organs? Given the fact that HIV continues to grow, and that some still do not divulge their lifestyle; is the FDA policy applicable to today?

100 people were asked about organ donations. All 100 stated that they would accept an organ donation if they needed one. When asked if they would feel different if the donor was gay; 19% said that they would not accept the donation. Almost all of those polled (98) felt that the FDA rules needed to be updated.

Because some still remain secretive about their sexual identity; you never really know who you are dealing with. You do not request the Christian pizza delivery guy; nor do you ask for the heterosexual EMT when dialing 911. Is the FDA policy in need of an upgrade?