C: Pixabay / Michelle Gordon2

People who refuse to answer question on ‘gender assigned at birth’ will be prevented from donating blood

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service has confirmed to Gript that those who refuse to answer a question about the gender “assigned to you at birth” will no longer be allowed to donate blood.

Gript questioned the IBTS after a long-time blood donor was told he would be unable to make further donations if he continued to refuse to answer the question.

Declan, who says he has been giving blood over the past few years, told Gript he felt discriminated against after leaving the question blank on his most recent trip to a local blood collection facility. 

He says he did not wish to answer as he ‘does not believe in gender ideology.’ 

“When giving blood your ID is checked and confirmed on the first step, you supply your drivers licence/passport and confirm your date of birth and sign to confirm,”  he said adding, “this separate question is unnecessary and I felt it just tries to get people to confirm Gender Ideology”. 

He says that after “some debate” the nurse at the facility ticked ‘no’ on the questionnaire and that the situation left him feeling “discriminated against and excluded”

Gript reached out to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) asking if people who do not wish to answer the question on ‘gender assigned at birth’ will be disallowed from donating blood, and the rationale for that decision.

We were told that the question is “obligatory and must be answered on every occasion the donor attends to donate”  as “people can and do transition at any time in their lives and over the course of a donor’s blood donation relationship with us so we ask the question on every occasion a donor attends clinic,”

While the IBTS claims to have “no views on the matter”, it says it “complies with the law” and for reasons of “donor and patient safety” has to ask the question of “every donor, every time they attend clinic”. 

The IBTS stated that the sex of donors has “implications for both donor and recipient safety” the main concerns being “haemoglobin, blood volume and a history of pregnancy”. 

Asked if the Gender Recognition Act had any part to play in the question on gender identity and if it wouldn’t just be easier to ask for the birth sex of donors to avoid issues like those stated above, the IBTS answered that it is “simply trying to communicate that transgender donors have a right under the Act to identify as the gender they identify as,” and that they “do not currently ask donors their gender at registration as it is not the most appropriate place to do so” because of privacy concerns. 

The IBTS also stated that “some transgender donors may  answer male or female rather than transgender male or transgender female.”

Declan says he feels this policy “tries to get people to confirm gender ideology” and that his right not to agree to this was ignored. 

“I don’t believe gender is assigned at birth, I believe it is observed, and I do not believe in gender ideology as is my right.” he said

“I have given blood for a few years now and feel it is worthwhile to do as it helps people who might need it, I have now been told I can no longer give blood unless I accept gender is assigned at birth and answer the question which I refuse to do, as a result I can now no longer give blood, which leaves me feeling discriminated against and excluded.”

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