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Students rally around gay male organ donors

At Ottawa protest, youth demand new policy

Cheers echoed across the lawn of Parliament Hill as students protested Health Canada’s prohibition on gay male organ donors.

Students from the University of Western Ontario, Queen’s, Carleton, the University of Ottawa and Algonquin college chanted and cheered. MPs Olivia Chow, Bill Siksay and Robert Thibault addressed the crowd.

In December Health Canada — which sets nationwide rules for organ donations — quietly enacted regulations prohibiting a man who has had sex with another man even once in the past five years from donating organs.

Gay men can still donate organs but in order for those organs to be used, doctors and recipients have to go through a special “exceptional distribution” process certifying that they are aware of the risk involved in using organs from a gay man.

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For previous coverage of the gay male organ donor ban, check out:

Standing Against Queer Discrimination.