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A 66-year-old male blood donor was turned away from a donation centre after refusing to answer a question about whether he was pregnant.
Leslie Sinclair has donated an incredible 125 pints of blood over the course of nearly 50 years, but on his latest attempt staff told him they couldn't accept his blood without confirmation that he wasn't pregnant.
As a 66-year-old man Sinclair felt it unnecessary that he should have to answer this question, but the NHS asks all potential donors if they are pregnant in order to 'promote inclusiveness' and because pregnancy is 'not always visually clear'.
Sinclair had gone to the clinic to donate his blood after the NHS launched a campaign to recruit a million more blood donors over the next five years, but he was left frustrated over what he described as a 'nonsensical' decision to be refused.
The dad of two, from central Scotland, said: "I am angry because I have been giving blood since I was 18 and have regularly gone along. I'm very happy to do so without any problem.
"There is always a form to fill in and that's fine – they tend to ask about medical conditions or diseases – and clearly that's because the blood needs to be safe. This time around, there was a question I hadn't seen before: 'Are you pregnant, or have you been in the last six months?' which required a yes or no answer.
"I pointed out to the staff that it was impossible for me to be in that position but I was told that I would need to answer, otherwise I couldn't give blood. I told them that was stupid and that if I had to leave, I wouldn't be back, and that was it, I got on my bike and cycled away."
Sinclair went on to say the decision had made him angry because 'there are vulnerable people waiting for blood, including children'.
"They've been denied my blood because of the obligation to answer a question that can't possibly be answered," he said.
Professor Marc Turner, director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS), thanked Sinclair for his commitment to donating blood and explained that while pregnancy is 'only a relevant question to those whose biological sex or sex assigned at birth is female', that factor is not always visually clear to staff.
"As a public body we take cognisance of changes in society around how such questions may be asked without discrimination and have a duty to promote inclusiveness – therefore all donors are now asked the same questions," Turner explained.
Pregnant women are not able to give blood until six months after giving birth.
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