The Journal Bioethics published our paper Facing difficult but unavoidable choices: Donor blood safety and the deferral of men who have sex with men, co-authored with Marcel Verweij, Thijs van de Laar, and Hans Zaaijer.
The paper is based on an ethical research project for Sanquin into the recruitment policy of blood donors. Since the mid-eighties of the last century (the beginning of the AIDS epidemic), stricter rules applied to men who have sex with men (MSM) than to other donors. The main question in the project was: how can the safety of donor blood be guaranteed without too discriminatory donor recruitment policies?
Our initial report was presented to Parliament (de Tweede Kamer) by Minister Tamara van Ark on March 11, 2021, and has led to more inclusive donor selection [op-ed article Parool] [article NRC]. In May 2022, a next step, also in line with our advice, was made, further relaxing the donor selection policy.