AMA Wire

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians

AMA opposes lifetime ban on gay men donating blood

AMA opposes lifetime ban on gay men donating blood

The AMA adopted a policy at its June Annual Meeting opposing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with men. The new AMA policy supports "rational, scientifically-based" policies on blood and tissue donation.

"The lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men is discriminatory and not based on sound science," AMA Board of Trustees member William Kobler, MD, said in a statement. "This new policy urges a federal policy change to ensure blood donation bans or deferrals are applied to donors according to their individual level of risk and are not based on sexual orientation alone."

Study: Greater acceptance of homosexuality in more secular, affluent countries

Even as the Supreme Court of the United States has issued decisions on gay marriage, a new study published by Pew Research looks at the acceptance of homosexuality on a global scale.

The study looks at survey data from 39 countries and found broad acceptance of homosexuality in North America, the European Union and much of Latin America, but equally widespread rejection in predominantly Muslim nations and Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and Russia. The most accepting country in the world was Spain, with 88 percent in agreement that the society should accept homosexuality. Only 11 percent responded negatively.

Pew found that attitudes about homosexuality have been fairly stable in recent years, except in South Korea, the United States and Canada, where the percentage saying homosexuality should be accepted by society has grown by at least 10 percentage points since 2007. They also found that age was a factor in several countries, with younger respondents offering far more tolerant views than older ones.

The AMA encourages physician practices, medical schools, hospitals and clinics to broaden any nondiscriminatory statement made to patients, health care workers or employees to include "sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity" in any nondiscrimination statement. Learn more about AMA policy affecting GLBT physicians and patients.

Read more elsewhere in AMA Wire about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent rulings affecting same-sex marriage.