Local author and teacher hits out at Poots’ blood ban

Health Minister Edwin Poots has said he stands by a ban on gay people donating blood.

STRABANE Academy teacher Stephen Birkett has called Health Minister Edwin Poots’ decision to maintain a ban on gay people donating blood, as “offensive.”

The DUP Minister stated on Sunday that he was sticking by his guns on maintaining the ban on gay blood donors, claiming new research strengthened his position.

“I think that people who engage in high risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood,” he told the BBC.

“And so someone who has sex with somebody in Africa or sex with prostitutes, I am very reluctant about those people being able to give blood.”

However local author Stephen Birkett has slammed the ban as outdated and claimed that Northern Ireland is lagging behind the rest of the UK.

“I’m not an authority, but I feel that this ban is purely prejudiced,” the former committee member of Strabane LGBT said.

“As far as I know, blood is put through a screening process nowadays so this ban is irrelevant.”

He added, “I can’t understand it.”


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