Health Minister Simon Hamilton has welcomed today’s judgement in the Court of Appeal which firmly established his Department as the authority to take decisions in respect of blood donation.
He said: “Ensuring the safety of blood donations that people in Northern Ireland receive has always been my priority and that of my predecessors. In 2011, Great Britain was the first part of Europe to remove the lifetime ban specifically for men who have sex with other men (MSM). I believe that caution to consider the evidence was correct and the judgement affirms that view.
“I have already made it clear that I would adopt the same policy on blood donations from MSM as the rest of the United Kingdom if evidence confirms that the current system in Great Britain has not presented any significant additional risk to the safety of blood donations, or indeed affirms some recent findings that blood safety has been increased in Great Britain.
“My Department has recently received substantial new evidence from the Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO). I will, as the judgement advises, carefully consider this without delay.”
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