Chatting to my teenage daughter the other day and apparently as part of the new SACE regulations, if High School kids donate blood through the Red Cross then that counts towards their Public Service obligation - it is the equivalent of three hours spent doing voluntary work somewhere instead.
However, my daughter is one of just two pupils in her year group who can't do this - purely because she spent "more than 6 months in the UK between 1980 and 1996" - and therefore may have Mad Cow Disease!
Now, I'm all for ensuring blood supplies are as safe as possible, and I know there isn't as yet a test to detect CJD in blood, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't just the UK that had Mad Cow Disease - in fact I remember seeing pics on the news of the French burning huge mountains of cow carcasses, and pretty sure they had it in the US as well - in fact I reckon there wasn't anywhere in Europe that didn't have it, even if they didn't go quite as public as in the UK about it! What about Asia? Isn't the risk of HIV/AIDs in Africa just as bad if not worse?
So how comes the Australian Red Cross is singling out the UK? Do I assume no-one in the UK is donating blood to the UK Red Cross for the same reasons? All the questions on their (Red Cross UK) site seem to relate to sexual history, and the Australian Red Cross don't seem to worry about that half as much!
Why is our blood good enough to donate in the UK and not good enough to donate here? I feel this is bordering on racism - discriminating against someone on the basis of their place of birth! Particularly as my daughter was born in 1994 and therefore by the end of the qualifying period would have only been 15 months old (I don't think I was feeding her cheap meat pies at that age!)
Funnily enough, my son will be able to donate, as he was born in 1997! Anyone else feel it's not exactly fair?