WATCH: Dr. Bingham on Unfiltered above.
VANCOUVER – David Patterson was a guest on the Simi Sara show on CKNW Friday morning.
He is the director of donor relations for Canadian Blood Services and his comments on the services’ policy, specifically the language around donation from gay men, raised some ire among listeners.
“Well it’s not that we’re saying no to an entire group of people,” said Patterson on the show. “We’re saying no to a behaviour or an activity. So I know this has been portrayed as an anti-gay stance but really it is about an activity that has been proven in the past to introduce pathogens into the blood supply.”
When asked if the policy surrounding gay men donating blood needed to be looked at again, Patterson said Canadian Blood Services is a fact-based organization. “We look at the science every day, every week, every year. We have a significant part of our organization that’s dedicated to research and that’s where they policy changed last year. It came from research, it came from consultation with both patient groups, and with members of the community, from the gay community.”
Many, including CKNW talk show host Drex, took offence to the way Patterson described men having sex with men as a “behaviour.”
WATCH BELOW: Drex talks to Jill Krop:
Dr. Mark Bigham, Canadian Blood Services Medical Officer, appeared on Jill Krop’s show Unfiltered in the afternoon and apologized for any offence.
“We are trying to be an inclusive as possible,” he said.
Last year, Canadian Blood Services lifted the nearly 30-year-ban on gay men donating blood, but they can still only do so if they have been abstinent for five years before the donation.
Just a few days ago, the Canadian Blood Services put out an urgent call for blood as the province is at a six-year low.