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Mitzvah Denied

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Dear FDA,

It was my intention to help save a life today by participating in a blood drive, organized by the Avodah-niks here at JewCamp. Much to my disappointment, I have been deferred from donating blood or any blood products for the foreseeable future. It seems my semester abroad **nearly EIGHTEEN YEARS ago** exposed me to culture, history, and, potentially, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), more commonly known as Mad Cow Disease.

Is this what was meant when the brochure said that my study-abroad experience would continue to affect my life long after I returned home?

Frume Sarah

9 Comments leave one →
  1. HSaboMilner permalink
    Thursday, 8 July 2010 5:15 pm

    I hear you. When i lived in London, as soon as I was 18 I started donating blood regularly. I moved to Canada and was then told my blood is no good bc of the mad cows running rampant in the UK. Been here 16 years, in North America – how many pints of perfectly good blood did they turn down?

    you do get mitzvah points, because you had the right intention.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 13 July 2010 6:57 pm

      I have to believe that the concern is great enough that they are willing to sacrifice all those pints of blood.

      As for mitzvah points, I definitely had the right intention. But no lives were saved…

  2. Thursday, 8 July 2010 6:10 pm

    I learned a long time ago never to talk about cows and women unless it was very clear that- well I think that I am going to drop this before I get into trouble…again. 😉

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 13 July 2010 6:59 pm

      That is very good advice.

  3. Thursday, 8 July 2010 10:17 pm

    This was actually the first time they’d changed the rules BACK so I was eligible to donate! The six months in Central Europe did me in for years, too. Though I think if you lived in the UK, you can forget donating blood for the foreseeable future…

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 13 July 2010 6:59 pm

      Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too.

  4. Friday, 9 July 2010 7:23 am

    I have the same problem for the same reason: I spent two years in Britain in the 1980s.

  5. Friday, 9 July 2010 7:33 am

    Are you saying it isn’t a legitimate problem? I mean, they love their blood, and there is always a shortage, so I doubt if it is an arbitrary ruling. Being overly cautious can mean letting go of a lot of good blood, but how many lives is it worth if no one gets BSE? And if there is a test for it and you know you don’t have it (and I mean really know), then lie on the form. It might be a lie but it speaks to a bigger truth.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 13 July 2010 7:01 pm

      I’m not saying it’s not legitimate. Although I do wonder if I should worry that I might fall ill at any moment.

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