Donating blood…

I got criticised by someone over the weekend for refusing to participate in an organised group blood donation that they’re trying to arrange.

Why I can’t donate blood (according to the Australian Red Cross):

  • Lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 for too long – apparently I’m a mad cow? #FAIL
  • I had chronic fatigue syndrome for a time when I was finishing up my PhD… #FAIL
  • Haemochromatosis #FAIL
  • Liver function test abnormalities (due to haemochromatosis) #FAIL
  • Travel overseas – I’m regularly in malaria zones, always within the 4 month donation restriction period #FAIL

I can’t donate blood. I can’t donate plasma. These are the rules set in place by the Australian Red Cross. That’s life.

I can’t help where I grew up. I can’t help my travel. I can’t help having haemochromatosis.

That aside, if I don’t want to donate blood, I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty over it. It’s my body – my decision.

Shit happens. Get over it.


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