Ethical reflection on the justice/injustice of past public health policy can inform current and future policy creation and assessment. For eight years in the 1980s, Haitians were prohibited from donating blood in the USA due to their national origin, a supposed risk factor for AIDS. This case study underlines the racial stereotypes and cultural ignorance at play in risk assignment—which simultaneously marked Haitians as risky ‘others’ and excluded them as significant participants in policy-making. This article also discerns Haitian understandings of justice related to this donor policy and explores how dimensions of this past policy relate to current blood donor policy.

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