The American Red Cross needs to step up and let Eliot Webster donate blood. We suspect that is the conclusion of pretty much anyone who read City Matters columnist Mark Hayward’s piece in our Monday edition.
Eliot’s mom, Elizabeth, is his legal guardian and is empowered to sign permission and other forms on his behalf. Eliot’s autism prevents him from signing for himself.
He clearly wishes to be a blood donor but the Red Cross says it must follow a rule set by the Food and Drug Administration, a rule that a donor must be able to fill out the form — with no assistance.
This is nonsensical. Whatever the reason for the rule, it makes no sense in Eliot’s or in similar cases. Exceptions ought to be made, not only because people like Eliot are willing and eager to donate blood, but because the Red Cross is periodically short of supply and that can be life-threatening.
Someone who knows her way around Washington and red tape — someone like U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen — ought to fix up a couple of bureaucrats with IVs and pump a few pints of logic into them.