Scottish blood donor turned down over pregnancy issue
A Scotsman has been turned away from a blood donation center because he refused to state whether he was pregnant, according to a report.
Leslie Sinclair, a 66-year-old father of two, had donated some 125 pints of blood over five decades before being barred from his selfless efforts on a trip on Wednesday amid pressure for new donors , reported Daily Mail.
Sinclair, from Stirling in central Scotland, was asked to complete a form asking if he was pregnant or if he had been pregnant within the last six months, prompting him to reply that the question did not apply to a man in his late sixties.
“I’m angry because I’ve been giving blood since I was 18 and have been around regularly,” Sinclair told the outlet on Friday. “I’m very happy to do it without any problems.”
Sinclair told a member of staff at the Albert Halls Clinic in Stirling that it was “impossible” for him to be pregnant, but soon learned he had to answer the question in order to donate blood. He no longer intends to return to the donation center.
“I told them it was stupid and if I had to leave I wouldn’t be coming back,” Sinclair said. “And that was it, I took my bike and went on my bike.”
Sinclair said he was angry because “vulnerable people”, including children, are in desperate need of donations.
“But they were denied my blood because of having to answer a question that is impossible to answer,” Sinclair told the Daily Mail.
The refusal came amid a push by England’s National Health Service last week to attract more than a million blood donors over the next five years after a dip during the pandemic, the report said.
The Scottish National Blood Service has also announced plans to recruit 16,000 new donors over the next year, but anyone considering donating blood will be asked if they are pregnant to ‘promote inclusivity’. reported the Daily Mail.
“There’s always a form to fill out and that’s fine – they tend to ask about medical conditions or illnesses – and that’s clearly because the blood has to be safe,” Sinclair continued.
But the new question threw Sinclair, as well as his wife, into a loop, he said.
“She just can’t understand either,” said the retired driver from an engineering company.
Anyone who has given birth in Scotland must wait six months before giving blood. According to the report, Scottish National Blood Service officials said all donors are now asked to say if they are pregnant as part of a “duty to promote inclusivity”.
“We appreciate the support of each of our donors and thank Mr Sinclair for his commitment over many years,” SNBTS director Marc Turner told the Daily Mail.
“While pregnancy is only a relevant issue for those whose biological sex or sex assigned at birth is female, sex assigned at birth is not always visually clear to staff,” Turner said. .
Noting “the changes in society,” Turner said the agency now asks all potential donors the same questions during appointments, including whether they are pregnant.