Gay Blood Donation Battle Now “Academic”

A gay man who attempted to have his legal challenge on the ban on blood donations for gay and bisexual men looked at by the UK’s most senior judges, has failed.

This comes pretty hot on the heels of former health minister Edwin Poots winning his appeal against a ruling which said he acted irrationally or with apparent bias when keeping the ban on gay blood donations in place.

You may recall that the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood in Northern Ireland was finally lifted back in September, meaning that gay blood donations are now permitted after a year of abstaining from same-sex relations.

However, the Supreme Court refused to hear the legal challenge because the matter is now “academic”. In their decision, the court said tha¬†the application did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance worthy of further consideration.

Poots was health minister between 2011-2014, where he made the decision to maintain the ban which ultimately landed him in this length court battle. Originally, findings against him were found by a judicial review.

Ultimately, the Court of Appeal in Belfast found that there was no basis behind the decision that Poots maintained the ban due to his religious beliefs. They also concluded that it was not down to the UK health secretary to make the decision on gay blood donations, instead saying that is down to Stormont.

Still, the lift of the lifetime ban in Northern Ireland brings they gay blood donation policy in line with England, Scotland and Wales.

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