I have been a faithful fan of David E. Kelley's shows for years. I didn't love them all, but I always respected what he tried to do. None more evident than in the sadly cancelled Harry's Law starring Kathy Bates and a host of interesting and unique actors. I have watched every episode. Some were good, great, and absurd. That is always the tightrope Kelley walks. There are many who will pin the left wing liberal on him, but I think he's much more complex than that.
Last night's episode blew my mind. As a matter of fact as I watched the episode, I thought he was full of s**t. He wasn't. I am still shaking my head in disbelief. In brief, a young man is in a terrible car accident with his last family member, his brother. Concurrently, there is a massive train crash so blood needed for his brother may arrive too late if at all. The brother wants to donate his blood. He will do anything to save his brother. When the brother mentions to the doctor that he had been recently tested for STD's and HIV as a yearly check, the doctor asked if he slept with men. When the young man said yes, the doctor said he couldn't donate!!! A court order ensued and I was stymied by the revelation. I thought for sure that David E. Kelley was making it all up for dramatic purpose, but he wasn't!
Since 1983, the height of the AIDS frenzy, any male who had sex with another male can't give blood. Really??? Really??? How the hell is that possible??? Though I may be able to understand it during the first year or two of the epidemic, it is still on the books. Thirty years later it is not only insulting but appalling. Government did what government does best, fear and terror. Before there was understanding about HIV/AIDS, maybe you could make a case, but today? 2012?
When I was having surgery in 1991, they were very cautious about people donating blood for me. They didn't want blood earmarked for me from people other than myself and my husband, just in case. They screen blood thoroughly, so what sense does the law make? Do you know that the fastest growing group of people infected with HIV/AIDS are men and women in the black community. Should we not take blood donations from black people? Are you kidding me? It is so incredibly archaic and has no current reasoning. They screen all blood donations. They can't trust what people say. As Dr. House says, "everybody lies." How can this law still be on the books? Can you tell that it has really gotten my goat.
In the episode, David E. Kelley wrote an incredibly impassioned speech by the gay brother to the judge. It was perfect and, lo and behold, a 100% correct. If you have the chance to hear it, it's worth the time. He speaks about how marginalized gay people are in this country in every way ( in schools, in the home, in the military until recently, in marriage, in sickness, etc.). So now that Obama and Biden have come forward in support of marriage equality, can we get this gay blood ban off the books. Why didn't I know about this until I watched a television show? Where is the outrage?
In case you don't believe me: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/with-better-hiv-tests-should-fda-end-its-ban-on-gay-men-donating-blood/2012/04/16/gIQAT2a6LT_story.html
Sidebars: The Real New Jersey Housewives never disappoint, though always a head shaker. Tonight Dancing With the Stars into the new season of The Bachelorette on ABC. Lest we forget America's Got Talent premieres tonight on NBC with Howard Stern taking over for Piers Morgan. What a night this is going to be. Anyone hear about the $2Billion loss at JP Morgan? Three people were fired. A senior executive, Ina Drew, one of the most powerful on Wall Street, is the first to fall. Last year she made over $15m. They say she is resigning....how big will her severance package be? Looks as if Congress really got a hold of the banking system. Good job!
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