Why we are asking Dr. Sanjay Gupta to help #EndTheBan
Recently, we launched a second petition for this campaign, this time directed at Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta has become an emblem for progressive medicine and his voice is well respected throughout the medical community. The FDA has refused to act on the recommendations of The American Red Cross and the American Association of Blood Banks to lift this ban thus far.
In 2011, the Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that “additional studies are needed in order to yield the appropriate data necessary for the re-evaluation of the current deferral policy.” The HSS will bring the issue before an advisory committee “When the results and data from the studies are available and potential policy revisions are brought forward for consideration, there will be opportunities for discussion in a public forum.
The decision to bring this back to either the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability or the FDA’s Blood Products Advisory Committee for further review is dependent on the specific questions on which the Department may seek advice or recommendations.”
A similar ban has been lifted in Canada, South Africa, Australia, Sweden and Japan.
Recently, Gupta has been in the news for his involvement with CNN medical marijuana documentaries that aim to raise awareness outdated policies - “Weed” and “Weed 2: Cannabis Madness” (released March 10, 2014.) When asked about his “change of heart” on the issue, Gupta explained “It seems politics trumps science.”
With a specialized knowledge of HIV/AIDS and an awareness of the blood shortages in the US, Dr. Gupta can help the campaign to prove that the tide has turned, and it is time for the FDA to get on the right side of history and drop the discriminatory, homophobic ban.