San Jose State University will continue to suspend future blood drives due to federal government regulations concerning a donor’s personal history. The FDA bans gay men from donating blood, and officials say this is discrimination.
By no means am I a physician or a infectious disease specialist, but San Jose State’s policy seems ridiculous to me. The Red Cross has a tough time getting donors to line up and give blood, and you would think a university promoting the activity to help other people would be a good thing, but no.
President Jon Whitmore decided to continue the suspension against blood drives, said Pat Lopes Harris, director of media relations at SJSU.
“He reviewed the material and he knew the Academic Senate felt strongly about the blood drive suspension,” Harris said. “He respects the position we had taken.”
Ann Marie Cordova, a senior business management major, said she couldn’t think of a good reason why blood drives would be banned.
I can’t think of a good reason either. Look, if you want to petition the FDA to change the rules, petition the FDA. Don’t make a hard job – getting people to donate blood – even harder by banning blood drives on campus.
Instead of working with the FDA, academic scientists and experts to change the rules – if appropriate – the previous university president threw a hissy-fit and sent out a letter in January discontinuing all blood drives on campus. The new president – John Whitmore – backed up the decision.
For those of you near the university who still want to donate blood, there are plenty of options. Click here for a list of Red Cross blood drives scheduled within 10 miles of San Jose State University in May, June and July.
The next blood drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on May 12 at Kaiser Permanente San Jose. Click here for directions if you’re coming from campus, it’s only a 13 minute drive. I’ll provide you with the hall pass.
Read Eugene Volokh’s perspective over at Volokh Conspiracy.