Health Officials Allegedly Reject Organ Donor Because He is Gay

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Mar 31, 2014
  • COMMENTS (4)
Rohn Neugebauer
Rohn Neugebauer  (Source:Facebook)

The family of a deceased Pittsburgh man says his organs were to be donated but rejected because of his sexuality and not because of health reasons, Think Progress reports.

Despite being healthy, the family of Rohn Neugebauer, 48, who died of a heart attack on March 16, say officials from Center of Organ Recovery and Education denied his organs and tissue because he is gay.

According to Neugebauer’s sister, Sandy Schulteis, she was asked a number of questions after his passing by a CORE representative. She said the interview went well until she revealed her brother was gay and that he had been in a committed eight-year relationship with another man. She says the CORE rep then told her he wouldn’t be eligible for donation.

Think Progress reports there is "no blanket prohibition on organ donations from sexually active gay men." The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, however, says "men who have had sex with another man in the preceding 5 years" should not donate their organs "regardless of their HIV antibody test results."

Dan Burda, Neugebauer’s partner who co-hosted a fundraise for CORE, took to Facebook to complain about the incident.

"It really makes me nauseous to think they declined him. I think it’s very prejudiced, implying that basically that gay people all have AIDS and HIV," he wrote.

A petition has been created that urges CORE to change its policy that excludes men who have sex with men from donating their organs.

The petition reads:

"We are excluding the possibility of perfectly good organs from benefiting and potentially saving the lives of those who are dying or have a poor quality of life simply because the donor happens to be a homosexual. We have started this petition because the FDA regulations are out of date and impeding individuals from receiving life saving organs ans [sic] tissue. We can make a difference by forcing these rules to be changed and better testing measures to be enforced. Far to many people are dying while perfectly good organs are being wasted due to the sexual orientation of the donor."


  • BlondieSL, 2014-04-01 09:00:42

    A thought just came.. to me. Do they refuse tissue from Gay people because they assuassume that all Gay people are infected? (soooo 1980’s) oris it ppossible that their stupidity is perhaps even more profound?Could it be that these cave dwellers might actually believe that some receiving an organ from a Gay person might turn the recipient Gay? Ya, sounds bizzar, but remember, there were and still are people who think the Earth is flat. Just say’n.

  • Anonymous, 2014-04-01 10:18:41

    Statistically gay men are more susceptible to having diseases due to sexual practices. It is fine to deny us if you have a surplus of organs and blood. But if there is a need and your family and doctor say you’re healthy then I’m sure someone needs your organs.

  • Anonymous, 2014-04-01 10:56:03

    Gay males may have a statistically higher rate of infection, but that doesn’t mean that all should be treated as though they do regardless.I agree more with Derek in that they think putting "gay" organs in someone will make them turn gay, just like the whole bit about "black" blood so many years ago.

  • GAG’EM, 2014-04-03 23:37:15

    If gay men are barred from donating blood, it seems consistent that our organs wouldn’t be wanted either. If someone would rather die than take my heart, lung or kidney after I die, that’s his choice.

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