saving lives

9 petitions

Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Food and Drug Administration, Donald Trump, President of the United States, Brian Higgins

Encourage the FDA to Review Blood Donation Policies that discriminate against Gay & Bi men.

The FDA's Current Guidance on Blood Donations for Gay and Bi-Sexual men is discriminatory and arbitrary leaving countless healthy donors unable to do so.It needs to be reviewed and updated to reflect current science and HIV testing capabilities to determine one individual donor's risk to the donor pool. And each unit of blood donated in the U.S. is routinely screened for various infectious disease pathogens, including five transfusion–transmitted viruses, using nine laboratory tests which makes the restrictions on donations by gay and bi men unnecessary and discriminatory. Jordan's Journey: Worthless is how I felt after I went to donate blood in October of 2015 shortly after I found out that I have Fatty Liver-Disease, a disease that often requires a liver transplant later in life. I wanted to pay it forward in case I would need a transplant and the accompanying blood transfusions, but I was turned away. At the time, I was unaware of the FDA’s guidance that indefinitely deferred gay & bi-sexual men, or men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. I felt as if I was a 2nd class citizen - as if my blood was not worth anything. Outraged by this policy, I began researching the issue and founded the “Blood is Blood” movement. On December 14th, 2015 I planned a community rally in Buffalo, N.Y. with Congressman Brian Higgins, to push for a change to the policy that is discriminatory towards gay & bi-sexual men - leaving countless healthy donors unable to do so. Shortly after the Community Rally, in January 2016, the FDA released an updated guidance on this policy, replacing the lifelong ban with a 12-month deferral period. The revised guidance removed the blanket discrimination and merely applied a bandage. The revised guidance is still discriminatory towards the gay & bi-sexual community and while a step in the right direction it was not enough. In June 2016, my heart (like many) was stricken by the hate and violence of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I, like many, wanted to help my community and donate blood. People flooded blood banks all over the country to donate lifesaving blood to help those injured. While many gay & bi-sexual men were unaware of the FDA policy, they showed up to to donate and were turned away. At this point, I knew that something had to change. We cannot keep having this conversation after every mass shooting or disaster about how this policy leaves countless healthy donors unable to save lives. I had to act, so I contacted the American Red Cross in Buffalo, NY and organized the First Gay Alliance Blood drive that took place on July 27th, 2016 with the mission to raise awareness and spark conversation about this absurd policy. I encouraged men whom were prevented from donating (due to being gay or bi-sexual) to bring a friend to donated on their behalf, as this way lives can still be saved. I started this movement to save lives and affect change. That day was amazing as 53 donors came forth and helped save over 159 lives. I decided to make this an annual event and at the 2nd annual Gay Alliance Blood drive on July 26th, 2017, I vowed a year of celibacy so I could become a blood donor in 2018. Abstaining from sex for a year would be difficult, but I did so to spark a community conversation about the FDAs antiquated guidance.. Last month, my year of celibacy came to end and I proudly donated blood at the 3rd Annual Gay Alliance Blood Drive - a milestone for me, an accomplishment at least It felt like at the time, after all, I donated blood, right? It was not that simple; I soon realized that nothing had changed. I was still that gay man whose blood was not good enough unless I stopped living my life. My year abstaining from sex was very difficult. There was many nights I felt depressed and closed off from the world, afraid that I would put myself in a situation that would ruin my year celibacy. I cut off contact with men whom I had feelings for, essentially putting my life on hold. While I do not regret my year of celibacy, with the FDA’s guidance that requires gay & bi-sexual men to abstain from sex for 12 months is detrimental to the mental health of the gay & bi-sexual community. In 2016, the FDA said they would continually review this policy, since then, nothing has changed. The policy should be based on one individual donor risks based on current science. The deferral period should be no longer than 30 days. Current testing technology enables an HIV infection to be detected in donated blood within several weeks of exposure. Even those subjected to the deferral period should be screened by their individual sexual history, not discriminated towards because they belong to one group. This is similar to the policy adopted in Italy in 2001 where donors are assessed individually with questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. Currently, The Williams Institute calculates that there could be at least an additional 600,000 MSM potential - saving over 1,800,000 lives annually if there was no 12 month deferral period. At the local Gay Alliance Blood Drives I have planned, there would have had an additional 134 donors, saving an estimated 402 lives! I encourage you to do your part by contacting local state and federal officials about this antiquated policy and learn more about “Blood is Blood” and our mission at

Blood is Blood
1,244 supporters
Started 1 year ago

Petition to United States Department of Transportation, US Congress, European Commission

Increase safety of vehicles by implementing regulation on brake systems, wheels and tires

Road traffic crashes and accidents claim 1.2 million lives and 10 million injuries worldwide every year.  More than a third of these numbers apply to pedestrians.   How many of these fatalities and severe injuries are results of driver error, impaired driving or other unsafe driving practices, and how many are due to inherent vehicle safety, both mechanical and technological elements -- including brake systems, heavy wheels and unsuitable tires? Vehicle safety regulation tends to focus on improving the level of protection a car provides its driver and occupants, but vehicles can also be designed to be safer for pedestrians. Some studies and statistics exist regarding wheel sizing, wheel weight, and the pros and cons of “plus-sizing” (“plus-sizing” refers to, for example, changing a standard 16” diameter wheel for an 18” diameter wheel, which in this case entails a “Plus-2 Fitment”). Although switching to bigger sized wheels, replacing the OE (original equipment) wheels and tires that are specifically designed and tested by car manufacturers is an attractive proposition for many drivers (big wheels can enhance a car’s appearance and handling and performance), it can also be dangerous if not done right --putting the drivers, their passengers and innocent pedestrians at greater risk. A car’s suspension and brake system are engineered to perfectly operate with a certain amount of "unsprung weight" (mass of components not supported by the springs) -- the axles, wheels and tires, brakes, etc. Plus-sizing to heavier wheels puts more strain on the suspension system. That extra mass may cause various side effects for the vehicle, causing potentially longer stopping distance and even issues with steering control. It is possible to avoid most of these consequences with lighter forged wheels, but they are considerably more expensive. In addition to having stringent rules and regulations enacted and enforced pertaining to plus-sizing wheels and tires, cars can be made safer for pedestrians by implementing other measures: o   designing a vehicle’s front end, in terms of shape and structural stiffness, so that pedestrians and other road users are less likely to be injured if they at impact. According to the UK’s The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), “the changes in the shape of many modern vehicle fronts, compared to older vehicles, has been influenced by pedestrian protection.” Design modifications can include increasing the crush depth between the outer surface of the vehicle and hard objects underneath (such as engine parts); o   testing with crash dummies that replicate real-life pedestrian crashes, and involve vehicle deceleration and stopping distance rates, and force measurements; testing that includes factors like bumper heights and energy absorption, and front end spaces between the hood and engine components underneath; o   shortening braking distance by way of a more robust high performance brake-system being installed at OEM level, and also reducing the weight of wheels, one of the advantages that forged wheels provide. The world is becoming increasingly mobile. Autonomous vehicles are being developed. Many places are seeing populations aging. Governments must heed the technological advancements improving mechanisms that increase control over a vehicle and maximize braking capabilities to shorten the stopping distance. Even a small improvement can save numerous lives. Both the U.S. and the EU should lead in funding of continuous, extensive in-depth research aimed at enhancing the safety of vehicles. Upgrading automotive safety equipment and respective standards should be a prioritized reality. It is imperative that governing bodies enact and enforce the regulation upon manufacturers, as well as tuners, facilitating the safest possible vehicles to the motorists – thus ensuring greater safety for pedestrians.  

Eleonora Pole
59 supporters