More than half of people in India would refuse a life-saving donated organ from an LGBT person

Lily Wakefield November 7, 2019
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The study said people did not want donated organs from LGBT+ people because of "pervasive" anti-LGBT attitudes. (Envato)

More than half of people in India would refuse to receive, or would feel uncomfortable receiving, a life-saving donated organ from from an LGBT+ person.

A survey by the Mumbai-based Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance asked 1,565 respondents across 12 cities in India about their opinions on organ donation.

Because of widespread belief in reincarnation, many Indians are concerned about donating organs because they think they will need them in future lives.

One in five people who took part in the study believed that if they donated an organ they would be reborn without it, while another 21 percent were unsure if that would happen or not.

But the study also found that “antagonistic sentiment” against LGBT+ people was “pervasive” when it came to attitudes on organ donation.

54 percent of respondents said they do not think LGBT+ people should be able to donate organs, and 56 percent said they would not want to receive a donated organ from an LGBT+ person.

Although it is unclear how many hospitals will allow LGBT+ people to donate, the survey states: “The LGBTQ community has had a mixed past with the Indian medical community.

“While Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377 last year, the LGBTQ community continues to be ostracized.

“In September last year, following Supreme Court’s landmark verdict, the Maharashtra chapter of National Blood Transfusion Council sparked a debate when it issued a new screening questionnaire that seemingly looked at weeding out the LGBTQ community from donating blood.”

National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) guidelines in India state that transgender people, men who have sex with men and female sex workers are not allowed to give blood.

The study added: “In 2017 the Blood Safety Division of National Aids Control Organisation said that LGBTQ community cannot donate blood because they are a ‘high risk’ group.

“This certainly raises questions about them being able to donate their organs.”



Related topics: blood donor, India, organ donation

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