On May 11, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced two settlements involving claims that health care providers refused to serve people with HIV in clear violation of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The first complaint was filed by a man with HIV who sought treatment from a podiatrist at the Mercy Medical Group Midtown Clinic in Sacramento, CA. The patient was told that the doctor could not perform surgery because of a risk that he would contract HIV from the patient during the operation. The second complaint was filed by an HIV-positive man who went to the Knoxville Chiropractic Clinic North in Knoxville, TN for a series of treatments following an automobile accident. On his third visit to the clinic, the receptionist informed him that the doctor would not see him because they could not treat people "like him."
The settlement agreements require the groups to develop and implement a non-discrimination policy and to train staff on the requirements of the ADA. Mercy Medical Group will pay $60,000 to the patient refused treatment and $25,000 to DOJ as a civil fine; Knoxville Chiropractic Centers will pay a fine of $10,000.
For further discussion of HIV-related discrimination and the implications of these cases, click here.