Blood donation and institutional trust: risk, policy rhetoric, and the men who have sex with men lifetime deferral policy in Canada.

Published: November 1, 2011


This article examines the process of rebuilding institutional trust in the Canadian blood system in the aftermath of the tainted blood scandal. Our focus is the policy of lifetime deferral from donating blood for men who have sex with men. Drawing on findings from interviews with representatives of Health Canada’s Expert Advisory Committee on Blood Regulation, the National Liaison Committee, Canadian Blood Services, and blood consumer groups, we demonstrate how claims making about rights, discrimination, science, and risk contribute to policy continuity. We also examine the link between policy continuity and the management of reputational risk.

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