Mom wants policy change for organ, tissue donors after gay son’s death – CBC

Liam Dee was considered high-risk donor, had his tissue donation declined

Apr 28, 2023

When Liam Dee began receiving hospice care shortly after starting his nursing career, he knew the rare cancer that had ravaged his body meant his organs were too damaged to donate.

But the 26-year-old was grateful his tissues, including skin, corneas, tendons and bones, could still go to people who needed them.

However, his tissues were rejected when he died last November, said his mother Cindy Gates-Dee, who learned from reading her son’s medical records that his “homosexual status,” as noted on a screening form by a tissue specialist, meant he was declined as a high-risk donor because he’d had sex with another man in the last five years.

But neither she nor Dee’s husband was asked any questions about Dee’s lifestyle to determine the probability of high-risk behaviour that specialists believe lead to increased risk of HIV or hepatitis B and hepatitis C, Gates-Dee said from Aylesford, N.S.

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