Dying man's organs rejected by doctors because he was gay

The 24-year-old was rushed to hospital in critical condition following a car crash last month


A dying man's organ donation was rejected by doctors because he was gay.

New Zealander Corey Eteveneaux was rushed to hospital in critical condition after suffering a horrific car crash last month. He died days later and his parents offered his heart valves and corneas for donation, only to be rejected because of his sexuality.

Eteveneaux was dating 29-year-old Daniel Jacobs for nearly two years when he died. The couple had tested for HIV when they began dating and both were negative. 

However, men who have sex with men are banned from donating blood or tissue for 12 months in New Zealand, regardless of their safe-sex practices. 

In an interview with Stuff, Eteveneaux's mother, Cherie, revealed what happened when doctors refused to accept her son's donation. 

She said: "I spoke with a woman from Organ Donation NZ and initially I thought she wanted to speak to me about Corey's tattoos and when the last time was he had work done. Instead, she told me they couldn't take Corey's heart valves or corneas because of his lifestyle.

"Eventually she said it was because he's a homosexual man," she explained. "Corey was a fit, healthy young man and I thought his heart valves would have been snapped up. It just doesn't make sense. There are people who are suffering out there and we could have potentially helped them."

 Jacobs said the criteria for tissue donation discriminated against gay men: "I can't see why we as homosexual men need to be discriminated against for what we do behind closed doors. We're still humans, we're no different to any people walking down the street.

"I know Corey would have loved to have helped someone, but some poor family has lost out," he added.

According to Stuff, the criteria for tissue donation is much stricter than organ donations because it's considered to be life-enhancing rather than life-saving, and gay men in New Zealand are allowed to donate organs.

Previously, men who had sex with men in New Zealand couldn't donate tissue or blood for 10 years. It was lowered to 5 years in 2008 and then to 12 months in 2014.