Deaf = can’t donate blood

30 11 2007

The following is a letter from UKCOD.

To all UK Council on Deafness Members

Recently we asked you to send us details of evidence of discrimination against deaf people by the NHS. One of the cases that was sent to us was a refusal by the National Blood Service to allow deaf people to donate blood. The reasons they gave for this included: ‘Concern about understanding’ and ‘truth telling to the interpreter’ .

We have had conversations with the National Blood Service to point out that this is unacceptable. As a result they have agreed to conduct trial donor sessions for deaf people so that they can develop an interview process that meets their regulatory requirements and is accessible to deaf people.

They have asked us to identify deaf organisations that would be interested in participating in a trial donor session. If you are interested and would like further information do please get back to me.

Kind regards
Jonathan Isaac
Director
UK Council on Deafness
Westwood Park , London Road , Little Horkesley, Colchester , CO6 4BS
Tel: 01206 274075
Text: 01206 274076
Fax: 01206 274077
Email: j.isaac@deafcouncil.org.uk
Website: http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk

UK Council on Deafness works with and for deaf organisations in the UK by providing information, advice and support and by representing the views of the sector to government and policy makers.

Membership of the Council is open to any Charity or Professional Body working in the field of deafness. The Council supports and celebrates the diversity of deaf people including Deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people

Organisations that do not qualify for membership can affiliate to the Council in order to participate in our work. Members and Affiliates enjoy access to a range of benefits including information, networks, influence and discounts on publications and delegate fees. To find out more please contact us or visit our website at http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk

Charity Number 1038448

__________________________________

Are you as stunned as I am?

Discrimination? Access? Information? Awareness? Equality?

I’m so disgusted, I can’t even comment on this.

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7 responses

30 11 2007
LaRonda

What?! Why can’t deaf people donate blood? That’s absurd!

You only listed one of the reasons they gave:

‘Concern about understanding’ and ‘truth telling to the interpreter’

This doesn’t even make sense and doesn’t apply to blood donation in a medical way. Good grief!

What were the other reasons? Did they list things like fear of genetic deafness by receiving a deaf person’s blood? It’s as if our blood was contaminated. Sheesh!

I too am stunned at this.

Looking forward to more follow up.

~ LaRonda

30 11 2007
Dennis Bacon

I find it offended to deaf people. Unbelieve what they are thinking of. I donate my blood three or four times yearly for more than 20 years. I have no problem. Red Cross sometime called me if I can donate my blood to match somebody’s blood in emergercy. I will be happy to help out. Hope to see they change their mind toward the deaf people soon. Looking foward your follow up.

1 12 2007
Tony Barlow

Good grief! I implore all Deaf organisations not partake on the pilot scheme and give them Deaf awareness courses instead. Even better, they train and employ someone Deaf to carry out the transfusion. If the interpreter was present, then this shouldn’t even be an issue. Have the world gone loony whilst I’ve been offline in the past 3 weeks?

1 12 2007
ALAN JEFFERS

I AM DEAF PERSON AND I GAVE DONATE BLOOD TO OUR USA TROOPS WHEN THEY NEED FOR DONATE BLOOD UNDERSTAND MUST MATCH TYPE OF BLOOD WHEN I WAS IN NAVAL BASE. OR OUTSIDE OR DONATE BLOOD MOBLE ANY FOOD STORE OR WALMART DUE I LOVE GIVE TROOPS TELL THEM ABOUT OUR USA DEAF CAN GIVE BLOOD FOR TROOPS NO MATTER WHAT AGANIST CANNOT CAUSE WE ARE SAME AS HUMAN BLOOD I ASK YOU ONE QUESTION “ARE U SCARE BEING OUR DEAF VAMPIRE ?” THEN DONT BE SCARE BEING DEAF PEOPLE AND HEARING PEOPLE ARE SAME AS BLOOD HUMANS ” DONT TELL ME CANNOT DO AND WE CAN DO FOR YOU HOW CAN I HELP YOU FOR DONATE BLOOD” I GAVE ALL MY GOOD BLOOD FOR OUR SOILDER TROOPS, NAVY , MARINE, ARMY, AND EMERG FOR OUR SAME FAMILY NEED BLOOD TO HELP SAVE THEIR LIFE LIKE FAILING HEALTH ,HEART ,LIVER, KIDNEY ,AND ETC AND HEALTH REASON!

1 12 2007
Kim

This is unbelievable!! It sounds like they think deaf people lie more often than hearing people. I don’t understand! Also– if they hire reliable interpreters, then why should they be worried about deaf people not understanding? Finally– what about late-deafend people whose first language is English?? It should be that hard to write or use a laptop to communicate?? I just don’t understand. (sigh)

1 12 2007
MM

So deaf people ‘might’ lie about a medical condition to a nurse, hearing don’t ? All you got to do, is get a note from your Doc to say there is no medical reason you can’t donate, sorted….

2 12 2007
W. David Samuelsen

Incredible!

I am coordinator for my deaf church for blood drives with American Red Cross. It will be my 5th consecutive time. I’ve given blood in past and intend to do so as long as my health is permitted and cleared by the doctor and the ARC onsite doctor.

The ARC has very strict regulations that apply EQUALLY to all, regardless of disabilities. They don’t care about the disabilities. Communication has not been an issue either.

There had been blood drive at deaf centers, too.

Suggest that organization gets in touch with American Red Cross and learn how to do it.

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