Kyle Freeman, a Thornhill, Ont., man who seems to regard blood donation as a human right more than a medical gift, is the protagonist in this sad narrative. For years, he has deliberately undermined the safety protocols used to protect the nation’s blood supply from the blood-borne pathogens that have created widespread suffering in Canada and other nations. And now, he is bringing his campaign to the courts, claiming discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation.
It goes without saying that this list of high-risk criteria does not comprise a moral judgment on donors: It is simply a catalogue of factors that have been empirically linked to exposure to HIV. U. S. figures, for instance, show that gay men are 200 times more likely to have HIV than the average first-time blood donor. When compared to the pool of repeat blood donors, the ratio rises ten-fold to 2,000:1.
But that doesn’t matter to Kyle Freeman, who is accused of deliberately lying to Canadian Blood Services about his sexual history so that he could give blood over a period of several years.