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Row in Rome over lesbian exclusion from blood donation


Summary of story from WorldCrunch, October 31, 2011

A woman in Rome has claimed she was not allowed to give blood at one of the city’s largest hospitals because she is  a lesbian.

The 39-year-old accounting firm employee, referred to as “Angela,” says she was told by a hospital official at Policlinico Umberto I that she is “considered at risk” because of her personal life.

Campaign groups in Italy are now insisting that a change in the law is required to prevent such discrimination.

The director of  the blood transfusion centre at Umberto I, Gabriella Girelli, said that whilst there was no law banning homosexuals from donating blood, anyone considered “at risk” cannot do so.

She added: ” It’s up to the examining doctor to determine the risk on the basis of the information provided.”

Opposition politician and activist, Paolo Concia, says she will take the issue to Parliament.

“We want to put it down by law that homosexuality is not an element that should exclude someone from donating blood,” she said.

She continued: “Some institutes use ‘safety’ to hide their anti-gay prejudices, forgetting the real risk of 9 million straight Italian men who frequent prostitutes.”

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