Stop denying those who are unable to speak from donating blood
  • Petitioned President and CEO, Greg Gallion

This petition was delivered to:

Houchin Community Blood Bank
President and CEO, Greg Gallion
Medical/Technical Director, Shawn Shambaugh M.D.of Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center
Chairman of the Board: Joseph C. Engel, Engel & Company, Inc
Vice President: Donald M. Camp Jr., Western Power Products
Secretary/Treasurer: Jerry Beckwith, Log Cabin Florist

Stop denying those who are unable to speak from donating blood

    1. Petition by

      Amy Liang

      Bakersfield, CA

On February 17, 2012, I was denied the opportunity to donate blood for my local blood bank, Houchin Community Blood Bank, simply because I do not speak. I had never donated blood before and did not expect to be denied from donating for a reason that had nothing to do with a medical issue.

I had barely begun registering to donate blood before I was informed by one of the staff that I could not donate blood because I was not able to speak. I was told that it did not matter that I could comprehend English or that I could communicate by writing if I did not have an "interpreter" present for my registration. I had already shown them that I did not need an interpreter for I had already answered a few yes/no questions for them. It didn't matter, however. To them, all that mattered was that I was unable to speak.

I believe HCBB needs to end this discriminatory policy now. As listed on their website at, "One out of ten people who enter the hospital will need a blood transfusion. Because blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, supplies must be replenished regularly. This is why people need to donate every 56 days." Despite their ongoing need for willing and eligible donors, the HCBB hypocritically turned an eligible and willing donor away. They discriminated against and disrespected me and all other potential donors who are deaf, mute, or simply unable to speak for whatever reason.

Please help end this discrimination by telling the Houchin Community Blood Bank to change their policy by allowing mute and/or deaf donors to register for blood donation through a written form of communication. It is rare to find an eligible blood donor willingly take time out of his or her life to do a service for their fellow citizens and community by giving blood. Such a person should not and does not deserve to be punished.

Recent signatures


    1. FDA Blood Donation Procedure

      Amy Liang
      Petition Organizer

      Making the following policy known is what can prevent future discrimination against mute and/or deaf people in the blood donation process.

      According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration worker, mute and/or deaf people can donate blood if there is a translator who is not a friend or relative available. Blood banks do not have to provide this translator for mute/deaf donors but they do have to have "appropriate procedures" set in place if there is a donor who is unable to talk. Some blood donation places do allow donors to write down their responses during the questioning process but others don't.

      The blood banks that don't allow donors to write down their responses have a policy called DOQ (donor oral questioning) which means the questions must be answered verbally. One reason for this policy is most likely because of a fear that mute and/or deaf people are more likely to lie about any embarrassing medical issues they may have than people who can talk.

    2. Another blood drive on May 1

      Amy Liang
      Petition Organizer

      Two months ago, HCBB informed me that they would not be coming to my school again for another blood drive. Well, they're back.
      On May 1, 2012, I will be trying to donate blood at my school again if HCBB takes reponsibility for discriminating against me and if they guarantee that no donor will be turned away from donating blood if they cannot speak.
      To all who signed my petition, thank you for giving me a voice! The fight for the right to give blood is not over yet.

    3. Reached 50 signatures
    4. HCBB says they don't feel their current policies need revision

      Amy Liang
      Petition Organizer

      I e-mailed the HCBB, asking them to explain their policy which prevented me from being able to donate blood. This is their explanation. Note: it is only a sample of the letter they sent me.

      "The regulations are numerous and center around two aspects of blood donation – patient and donor safety. These guidelines generally describe an interaction with donors which relies on verbal interaction from donors at critical points in the screening and blood collection areas.

      However, let me also assure you that HCBB has a long-standing history of accepting donors for screening who are unable to speak, or where donor verbal interaction is difficult. In these situations, more emphasis is put on written communication and interaction. That’s the key – certainty that the donor understands the information and questions presented and is also able to respond as necessary. Since we have this history, I don’t feel our current policies or procedures need revision."

    5. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Matthew Gargas OTTAWA HILLS, OH
      • over 1 year ago

      its sad

    • Alexander Maryniuk OTTAWA, CANADA
      • almost 2 years ago

      If the corporation isn't upholding national laws, leaving the policy to discriminate freely, then the policy needs to change.

    • James Byers ANNANDALE, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      This is beyond belief. I have been volunteering at blood drives for (holy cow) 30 years and have had many folks who cannot speak. (Mostly deaf, who could not hear either so one would think that not speaking would not be a big deal.)

    • Adrian Gibbs ACT, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      While informed consent is essential, the organisation concerned needs to have flexibility in how that is measured to ensure that potential donors are not refused erroneously.

    • Kywanna Austin BATAVIA, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm signing this petition because no one should be denied an opportunity to help others.


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