A 66-year-old man from the United kingdom, a lifelong blood donor, was turned away from donating in June because he refused to state on his pre-donation form whether he was pregnant or not.
Leslie Sinclair, a retired driver for an engineering company, was turned away from a blood drive at the Albert Halls clinic in Scotland. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) organized the drive and were responsible for rejecting Sinclair because, as the Telegraph reports, they are dedicated to inclusivity.
Sinclair has given 125 pints of blood across five decades, and affirmed that the pregnancy question simply didn't apply to a retired adult male who is in his 60s.
Explaining to the Daily Mail, Sinclair said that he has been donating blood since he was 18.
"I am angry because I have been giving blood since I was 18 and have regularly gone along. I'm very happy to do so without any problem," he said.
"There is always a form to fill in and that's fine – they tend to ask about medical conditions or diseases – and clearly that's because the blood needs to be safe. This time around, there was a question I hadn't seen before: 'Are you pregnant, or have you been in the last six months?' which required a yes or no answer."
"I pointed out to the staff that it was impossible for me to be in that position but I was told that I would need to answer, otherwise I couldn't give blood," he continued. "I told them that was stupid and that if I had to leave, I wouldn't be back, and that was it, I got on my bike and cycled away."
Sinclair told the Daily Mail, "It is nonsensical and it makes me angry because there are vulnerable people waiting for blood, including children, and in desperate need of help. But they've been denied my blood because of the obligation to answer a question that can't possibly be answered."
Professor Marc Turner, director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, said it is now a requirement to answer the pregnancy question because "Whilst pregnancy is only a relevant question to those whose biological sex or sex assigned at birth is female, sex assigned at birth is not always visually clear to staff."
Sinclair did point out to the SNBTS staff that it is literally impossible for him to be in a position of pregnancy, to which the staff replied "answer" or he "couldn't give blood."
"I told them that was stupid," Sinclair said, "and that if I had to leave, I wouldn't be back, and that was it, I got on my bike and cycled away."
Turner did thank Sinclair for his years of donation but stood by excluding him for inclusion's sake.
The rejection of Sinclair's healthy blood comes after a prominent campaign launched by the NHS in the hopes of acquiring more blood, as donation levels bottomed out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a similar effort to be more "inclusive" the NHS dropped the word "woman" from its health guidelines and writings.
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