Ban on gay men donating blood must be lifted says Sinn Fein MLA

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Maeve McLaughlin.
Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Maeve McLaughlin.

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Maeve McLaughlin, has urged Health Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, to lift the ban on gay men donating blood in the North.

Ms. McLaughlin’s comments came after Minister Hamilton hinted on Friday that the current ban on gay men becoming blood donars could be lifted.

“It is unacceptable that in 2015 men who have sex with men are banned from donating blood. It simply doesn’t make sense as the health minister in London has already lifted the lifetime ban.

“It is encouraging that the health minister is now indicating that the unfair and discriminatory ban could now be lifted,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

Ms. McLaughlin said she was hopeful that the “unfair” ban in the North would be lifted soon.

“Simon Hamilton has said he has written to the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissue and Organs in London asking for further information on the issue.

“This follows previous comments from the health minister when he said he would listen to the weight of scientific and medical evidence.

“We now need to see Simon Hamilton break from the policies of his predecessors and take action on this to end this unfair,” she said.