A US company that collects plasma from donors is being sued after they turned away a transgender woman because of her gender identity.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is suing the company for discriminating against the transgender woman, who was identified as Alice James, according to Associated Press.
A lawsuit was filed on Thursday (March 7) in which it was claimed CSL Plasma Inc violated the Human Rights Act by refusing to take blood from James.
The woman in question has not yet joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff but is expected to do so.
She was told they do not accept donations from transgender people
She had been donating plasma at the centre in Duluth, Minnesota since 2011.
But when James turned up in 2015 to donate, she says she was told that they do not accept donations from transgender people.
CSL Plasma identifies itself as “one of the world’s largest collectors of human plasma” and as “a leader in plasma collection.”
“CSL Plasma is committed to excellence and innovation in everything we do,” their website reads. “Our work helps to ensure that tens of thousands of people are able to live normal, healthy lives.”
According to the website DonatingPlasma.org, those who want to donate plasma need to be 18 years or more, weigh at least 110 pounds, must divulge their medical history and must be tested for viruses like hepatitis and HIV.
They must also follow a recommended diet where they have 50 to 80 grams of protein each day and should have a medical examination.
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“Our work helps to ensure that tens of thousands of people are able to live normal, healthy lives.”
– CSL Plasma’s website
They also identify that there is an urgent need for plasma.
FDA Guidelines on blood donation
The US Food & Drug administration has a number of guidelines in place that dictates who can and cannot give blood.
These guidelines prohibit gay and bisexual men from donating blood unless they have not had sex in 12 months.
The FDA states that – in relation to standard blood donation – that gender should be “self-identified and self-reported for the purpose of blood donation.”
Many countries across the world continue to maintain bans on gay and bisexual men donating blood.
Last June, it was reported that a gay man in France took his case to the European Court so he could be allowed to donate blood.
He filed a discrimination suit at the European Court of Human Rights after he was prevented from donating blood because he has sex with men.
Last year, Israel lifted its ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.