John Plater

John Plater was a tireless champion for human rights, even at great personal cost. A hemophiliac, Plater learned to thrive with the disorder and from an early age became a spokesperson. Infected with HIV and hepatitis C in through blood products in the early 1980s, Plater worked to ensure the safety of the blood system. Even before becoming a lawyer he helped to lead the call for the Krever inquiry and to obtain compensation for people who had been infected by blood and blood products. He was a champion for access to emerging HIV treatments and later worked to advocate for access to organ transplants for people who are HIV positive, as well as decriminalization of HIV. Plater held volunteer leadership roles at Hemophilia Ontario and the Canadian Hemophilia Society, the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS, the Ontario Hepatitis C Task Force, and the Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative on HIV/AIDS. He chaired the HIV/AIDS Community Advisory Panel of St. Michael’s for several years and was a board member of the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario. He worked with Canadian Blood Services on countless initiatives and was a member of their National Liaison Committee. Active in his local church, he looked after sheep, horses and chickens on a small hobby farm in the Beaver Valley with his wife Karen and mother Margaret. John Plater died in 2012 from complications caused by HIV and hepatitis C.

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