Teen Boy’s Eye Donation Rejected Because He Was Gay
A teenager who volunteered to donate his eyes upon his death has had the organ rejected because he was gay.
via Fox News
Alexander Betts Jr’s heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs all went to recipients when he died following a suicide attempt last year. His eyes, however, did not—because Betts was gay, the Washington Post reports.
“My initial feeling was just very angry because I couldn’t understand why my 16-year-old son’s eyes couldn’t be donated just because he was gay,” his mother, Sheryl Moore, tells KCCI.
The reason: The FDA doesn’t allow gay males who’ve had gay sex in the past five years to donate some tissues—eyes included—due to “an increased risk for exposure” to HIV and other diseases.
Critics say the policy is outdated, and note contradictions, like men who sleep with HIV-positive women being banned for just a year. But Betts’ eyes were rejected because his mother couldn’t say for sure that he hadn’t had gay sex.
She says he’d been bullied for being gay, half-black, and having a cleft clip. “It’s the most painful thing I have ever been through in my entire life,” she told the Des Moines Register last year.
Do you think the FDA should be able to prevent people from donating organs based on their sexual orientation? Or should they disclose the information to the potential recipient and allow them to make the decision?