Are you too slutty to donate your organs? If you’ve slept with more than two people in the last year, the CDC says you probably are. Their new federal health guideline proposal says that deceased or living donors who haven’t been monogamous in the 12 months prior to donation should be considered “risky.” They say this could protect transplant recipients from accidental HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C transmission; many say the guidelines are going too far.
The last set of guidelines set in 1994 disallowed donations from men who have had sex with other men within the past five years, people who’ve used IV drugs, prostitutes, hemophiliacs, those exposed to HIV, and anyone who’s had sex with someone in those categories.
The proposal includes the first-ever guidelines for testing living donors, adding heptatis B and C to the list of obligatory tests, alongside HIV.
But according to MSNBC, some doctors are up in arms about the new recommendations, claiming that it could make the transplant process more difficult than necessary for donors:
“With the new guidelines, every college student in America will be high risk,” said Dr. Harry Dorn-Arias, a transplant surgeon at the University of Virginia. “Right now, it’s probably a prostitute or a guy with a needle in his arm. Next time, it will be just a young guy.”
“If you were going to give your organ to your mom or dad or sister, you’re going to be ashamed of that,” said Dorn-Arias. “You’re either going to say no, or you’re going to lie.”
Protecting the health of transplant patients is obviously a good thing, but beyond the embarassment it could cause donors or a decreased interest in donation, the guidelines also seem to me like they’re bound to unnecessarily stigmatize sexual activity that doesn’t necessarily put you at higher risk for disease than other donors.
Ultimately, I think the real question is: If your life depended on an organ transplant, would you want people to preclude themselves from donating simply because they’d slept with more than two people in 12 months? I wouldn’t.