Education + Advocacy = Change

Click a topic below for an index of articles:

New Material

Home

Help us Win the Fight!

Alternative Treatments

Depression

Financial or Socio-Economic Issues

Health Insurance

Help us Win the Fight

Hepatitis

HIV/AIDS

Institutional Issues

International Reports

Legal Concerns

Math Models or Methods to Predict Trends

Medical Issues

Our Sponsors

Occupational Concerns

Our Board

Projects

Religion and infectious diseases

State Governments

Stigma or Discrimination Issues

If you would like to submit an article to this website, email us your paper to info@heart-intl.net


 

~

any words all words
Results per page:

“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

Lawsuits

 

 

 

We offer a monthly newsletter dealing with the various issues surrounding infectious diseases.  To find out more click HERE.

Main topics can be found within the left column; sub-topics and/or research reports can be found near the bottom of this page.  Thank you

"[I]t is clear that the key to an enlightened and compassionate response [to Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)] is education and the planning and development of HIV [AIDS virus] programs and policies well in advance of the occurrence of the first case of HIV infection. The Commission believes that every employer, school system, and community should start that education and planning process now."

"[T]here are few matters of a more personal nature, and there are few decisions over which a person could have a greater desire to exercise control, than the manner in which he reveals . . . [an HIV-related] diagnosis to others. An individual's decision to tell family members as well as the general community that he is suffering from an incurable disease, particularly one such as AIDS, is clearly an emotional and sensitive one fraught with serious implications for that individual. Certain family members may abandon the AIDS victim while others may be emotionally unprepared to handle such news. Within the confines of the prison the infected prisoner is likely to suffer from harassment and psychological pressures. Beyond the prison's walls the person suffering from AIDS is often subject to discrimination"

"Ignorance and prejudice concerning [AIDS is] . . . widespread; the decision of whether, or how, or when to risk familial and communal opprobrium and even ostracism is one of fundamental importance. Within the jurisprudence concerning the right to privacy, and in recognition of the particularly personal nature of the information potentially subject to disclosure under the state's program, the court determines that the prisoners subject to this program must be afforded at least some protection against the non-consensual disclosure of their diagnosis." AIDS Workplace Law and Policy

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES:

Document Name

Description

File Size

ACCESS TO JUSTICE: OPENING THE COURTHOUSE In order for “equal justice for all” to be more than a hollow promise, people require access to the courts that is meaningful, with representation by qualified counsel, the opportunity to physically enter the court and to understand and to participate in the proceedings, and the assurance that their claims will be heard by a fair and capable decision-maker and decided pursuant to the rule of law. In this white paper, we describe how these features of meaningful access to the courts are increasingly absent. We conclude by offering a series of proposals to bridge the gap between the lofty promise of equal justice and the often disappointing reality of justice on the ground.  Pdf 348 kb

Aids Activists Condemn Police Action

South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) on Monday condemned the government's response to peaceful protestors demanding a national HIV/AIDS treatment plan.

 

AIDS Employment Discrimination: Impact of Chadbourne v. Raytheon As soon as the company knew that it had an employee with AIDS who wanted to return to work, it directed its occupational nurse… Despite the assurance from Chadbourne's doctor, the local public health department, the CDC and its own doctor, Raytheon would not reinstate Chadbourne or attempt to accommodate his physical handicap.  

AIDS Workplace Law and Policy: A Systematic Analysis

"[I]t is clear that the key to an enlightened and compassionate response [to Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)] is education and the planning and development of HIV [AIDS virus] programs and policies well in advance of the occurrence of the first case of HIV infection. The Commission believes that every employer, school system, and community should start that education and planning process now

 

Anger on ruling not to prosecute-Ireland Criticizes the decision by Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions not to take legal action against the doctors and other former medical staff named as being negligent in the Hepatitis-C virus (Hepatitis C Virus) Infected Blood Products problem.  

Attorneys want hepatitis trial moved

A judge was asked Tuesday to relocate the trial involving one of scores of lawsuits stemming from a massive hepatitis outbreak.

 

BASILE PAPPAS and THEODORA PAPPAS, H/W, v. PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITAL INSURANCE CO. (PHICO) and THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CATASTROPHE LOSS FUND (CAT FUND) Court dismisses HMO's claim for protection from tort cases under ERISA; technically a health insurance case but ramifications for disability insurance.  
Breach of HIV Confidentiality: Overview of Emotional Distress Awards The goal of the memo was to survey emotional distress awards in all types of confidentiality case and in other comparable areas.  The bulk of the research focused on New York State cases, but we also surveyed some types of cases in other states.   
Broad Range of Humanitarian Groups Must Benefit From Injunction Against Speech Restriction In HIV/AIDS Program, Says Federal Court A federal judge ruled today that a sweeping restriction on the speech of groups participating in the federal government’s international HIV/AIDS program continues to violate the First Amendment. The court enjoined the government from enforcing the restriction against the members of two preeminent public health and humanitarian membership groups Pdf 21 kb

Catholic Children's Aid Society of Hamilton v. J.I.

 

The two children in question were ordered Crown wards with no access to either parent -- The mother, who was H.I.V. positive, was unable to meet her parental responsibilities with regard to the two children. Both children were ordered Crown wards with no access to the parents -- The children's aid society argued that the two children in question were in need of protection and sought an order of Crown wardship with no access to the parents -- The mother, who had come to Canada from Nigeria, was H.I.V. positive, as was the second child, E. -- The mother was facing outstanding criminal charges with regard to failing to disclose her illness to E.'s father, who had contracted the disease -- HELD: An order for Crown wardship with no access to the parents was made, as it was in the best interests of the children as it would allow them to be adopted -- The evidence overwhelmingly supported a finding that the mother did not have the ability to meet her parental responsibilities to the children and that she consistently rejected most of the assistance offered to her by the society and the staff at the S.I.S. clinic to meet the needs of the children -- The child O. was found in need of protection as she was at risk of suffering physical harm on account of her developmental stage and the mother's demonstrated lack of ability to ensure her safety even during access visits, her potential exposure to the HIV virus, as well as her past failure to follow medical advice -- Furthermore, O. was at risk from suffering emotional harm based on the mother's lack of ability or willingness to be responsive to O.'s behaviour and need for attention during access visits, and her failure to work with society and daycare staff to facilitate the child's speech and language development -- The child E. was in need of protection as he had become infected with H.I.V. as a result of the mother's deliberate actions, including her failure to obtain the recommended medical care, and E.'s ongoing need to ensure that his medications were taken regularly -- E. was also at risk of suffering emotional harm, in part because of the issues he would be facing being H.I.V. positive and the inability of the mother to provide and/or arrange the support he would inevitably require -- There was no air of reality to the mother's plan of care for the children. Pdf 117 kb
CHEVRON U.S.A. INC., PETITIONER v. MARIO ECHAZABAL The court of appeals correctly held that respondent is a "qualified individual" under Title I of the ADA, but the court erred in invalidating the EEOC's regulations and precluding petitioner's defense that respondent's performance of the job posed a direct threat to his own health or safety. By addressing threat-to-self concerns as a regulatory defense to liability, the EEOC struck a proper balance between the rights of disabled individuals to work free of discrimination and employers' need to maintain a safe workplace. Under the EEOC's regulations, an employer need not hire an employee who poses a threat to self, but only if the employer demonstrates, on an individualized basis, a real threat to the employee's health.  

Colorado-DOC Prison Hepatitis C

Rules and regulation concerning Hepatitis C Virus in prison system

Pdf 5,924

Confidentiality Vs the Duty to Warn HIV-Disclosure Guidelines for Social Workers Mental health professionals often feel caught in a legal dilemma with respect to a client’s HIV status. On one hand, there is the basic duty to keep client information confidential. This is especially true of information about HIV-infection, which can be embarrassing or harmful to the client if revealed to others. On the other hand, there may be a duty to warn others if the client poses some threat to them. pdf 35 kb
CONNOLLY, Plaintiff, v. FIRST PERSONAL BANK, Defendant Pre-employment (and post-employment) drug screenings are allowed for some types of jobs, but I don’t know if they are generally disallowed for other types of jobs and, if so, whether there is any issue here about requiring a drug screening test before hire (unrelated to the issues raised by a false positive test result).  Also, there have been various challenges to drug testing programs and some of those cases might provide additional arguments.  And if the employer is regulated by the DOT, DOT regulations re drug test programs may be relevant  
Consent Decree The US alleges that Wales West LLC violated the ADA and its implementing regulations.  By denying a child with HIV and his family equal goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, accommodations, or other opportunities offered at Wales West RV Resort. Pdf 390 kb
CONSUMER’S GUIDE FOR INJURED VICTIMS Practical advice you can use right now to recover the money you deserve without problems, hassles or delays  
COURT CLARIFIES STANDARDS FOR DENIAL OF DISABILITY BENEFITS Judges must approach medical disability and health insurance disputes with a skeptical eye when they involve insurance companies that both evaluate and pay employee claims.  
Court Holds Hospital Has Duty to Warn a Third Party In a case that greatly extends the duty of health care professionals to take affirmative action to protect a third party with whom the facility or professional has not had contact, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals recently held that:  
Court: HIV Positive? Tell Your Partner The 4-3 ruling was the state Supreme Court's first involving allegations of negligent HIV infection, and makes those with "constructive knowledge" — people who should have known by their behavior and other signs they were infected but perhaps did not — legally liable for infecting others.  
Criminal Law, Public Health and HIV Transmission
A number of cases have been reported in which people living 
with HIV have been criminally charged for a variety of acts that 
transmit HIV or risk transmission.  In some cases, criminal 
charges have been laid for conduct that is merely perceived 
as risking transmission, sometimes with very harsh penalties 
imposed
48 kb pdf
Criminal Law, Public Health and HIV Transmission A number of cases have been reported in which people living with HIV have been criminally charged for a variety of acts that transmit HIV or risk transmission. In some cases, criminal charges have been laid for conduct that is merely perceived as risking transmission, sometimes with very harsh penalties imposed. Some jurisdictions have moved to enact or amend legislation specifically to address such conduct. The issue has also received public and academic commentary. Pdf 865 kb
Criminal Penalties for Attempted Exposure to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) by Prison Inmates- Pennsylvania Statutes A person is guilty of this offense if he intentionally or knowingly causes another to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, saliva, urine or feces by throwing, tossing, spitting or expelling such fluid or material when, at the time of the offense, the person knew, had reason to know, should have known or believed such fluid or material to have been obtained from an individual, including the person charged under this section, infected by a communicable disease, including, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B.  
Criminal Prosecutions for HIV Exposure: Overview and Analysis
There were few prosecutions relative to AIDS cases, and 
prosecutions varied over time and between states.  Prosecutions 
for splitting, biting, and prostitution are excessive relative to AIDS 
cases attributable to these modes of exposure.  The findings 
suggest that prosecutions are not likely to serve the public health 
purpose of reducing HIV transmission from those who know 
they are infected.
48 kb pdf
CRITICAL CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS IN THE UNITED STATES Civil and human rights have taken a hit in the United States over the last eight years, but some of the discrimination against people with HIV has been grinding on for much longer. Stigma and discrimination fuel the HIV/AIDS pandemic; protecting human rights protects the public’s health. Pdf 84 kb

Crown speeds up process in blood scandal 

OTTAWA - In a rare move, the criminal proceedings against those charged in Canada's tainted-blood scandal have suddenly been put on a fast track.

 

Discrimination: Yes. People who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS are protected from employment discrimination under both the Connecticut Human Rights Law (CGSA §46a-60) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Both of these statutes prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of a person’s disability.  
CALIFORNIA DISCLOSURE LAWS That's a matter of state law.  Arkansas, for example (Ark. Code Ann Sec. 20-15-903) makes it a misdemeanor for people who are HIV+ to fail to inform their health care provider, which would include an orthodontist; California does not.  The Law and Sexuality journal did a very comprehensive survey of state HIV laws, most recently updated in 2004, that is helpful for this sort of question  

Discrimination suit

Doe v. Lamb

 

LAMBS FARM SUED FOR EXCLUDING MAN BECAUSE OF HIV-POSITIVE STATUS IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION

Equip for Equality today filed suit in federal court against The Lambs Farm, Inc. of Libertyville, Illinois, on behalf of a 54-year old man with a developmental disability whom Lambs Farm refuses to serve because he is HIV positive.  Lambs Farm is a non-profit organization located on a 72-acre campus in Libertyville that provides housing, vocational and recreational services to adults with developmental disabilities. 

Legal Brief: Doe is an adult with a developmental disability who sought admission to the residential facility and to the vocational services of Defendant, The Lambs Farm, Inc., (hereinafter “Lambs Farm”), and who is in all respects eligible for and qualified to receive such services.  He initially received a positive response to his application, but when Lambs Farm learned that Doe was HIV positive, for that reason, and that reason alone, Lambs Farm terminated the application process and rejected his application.  

 

Doctor Denies Blame in Hepatitis C Outbreak

Dr. Tahir Javed, who is accused of using unsanitary practices that caused the hepatitis C infections of 99 patients at his Nebraska cancer clinic has denied any wrongdoing.

 

Early Detection of HIV

Early detection of HIV has important implications for both prevention and treatment. Promoting HIV testing, and thereby early detection, however, is a complicated task that must balance the interests of public health, personal privacy, and legislative efforts to curb transmission. This article assesses the legislative context within which public health officials must operate to promote early HIV identification. Specifically, the article reviews United States laws regarding HIV testing passed over the course of 3 years, 1997 to 1999, at the state-not the federal-level.

 

Employment Discrimination Discrimination occurs in a variety of ways in daily life, including employment. Some employment discrimination is lawful and necessary (such as prohibiting the employment of minors in certain occupations or before or after a particular hour of the day). Most discrimination, however, whether intentional or otherwise, is based on factors such as race, gender, national origin and religion, and has resulted in people who are discriminated against constituting a disproportionate share of those living in poverty. Over the years the law has begun to address these inequities.  
ERISA Disability Litigation How To Sue Your LTD Insurance Carrier In United States Federal Court Without an Attorney This report is oriented to those persons who are disabled by Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (a.k.a. CFIDS, CFS, M.E.) and other so called "self-reported conditions" such as Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) who must sue to recover long term disability benefits from employee benefit plan providers (insurance companies).  
Federal Court Protects HIV Privacy Informational privacy continues to be of paramount importance to people living with HIV (PLWH), who continue to suffer persistent stigma and discrimination on account of their HIV status.  Fortunately, a recently concluded case affirms that PLWH enjoy constitutional protection against nonconsensual disclosure of their identities by the government.  
First Two Class Action Lawsuits in Northwest by Uninsured Patients Against Nonprofit Hospital Systems and Hospitals Filed in Federal Courts in the States of Oregon and Washington
The first two class action lawsuits in the Pacific Northwest against 
nonprofit hospital systems and hospitals for failing to fulfill their 
obligations to provide charitable care to uninsured patients were 
filed today

 

 
Hepatitis B associated with re-usable medical devices Fingerstick devices are widely used for capillary-blood sampling for glucose monitoring in patients with diabetes. In 1996, outbreaks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection occurred among patients with diabetes in an Ohio nursing home and in a New York City hospital. In response to these outbreaks, nursing-home and hospital personnel, state and local public health officials, and CDC conducted epidemiologic investigations.  
HIV disclosure rule comes under attack "Since that time I have been watching and studying that data, and it turns out the risk to patients is virtually zero," says Gostin, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. "At the same time, I have found that health care workers have been literally hounded out of the profession (because of disclosure). They have been subject to a lot of discrimination and invasion of privacy."  
HIV-Rape Trial Takes a Break THE High Court's first trial under the Combating of Rape Act in which a suspect faces the allegation that he knew he was carrying the AIDS virus when he raped a woman is set to continue early next month.  
HIV Found To Be No Disability A federal district judge dismissed a workplace discrimination claim brought by an HIV-positive man on the ground that the man's HIV infection did not meet the statutory definition for disability because he had no interest in having children. This is the latest of several recent rulings suggesting that the federal American With Disabilities Act (ADA) is unlikely to provide much protection against workplace bias to HIV-positive gay men who are staying healthy through medical treatment.  
Housing Assistance For Disabled Persons With Modest Incomes There are at least eight kinds of housing aid programs financed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Agriculture (DoA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Energy (DoE):  
How to Litigate an HIV confidentiality case Power Point Presentation 190 kb
Humana, Inc. v. Forsyth and Federal Claims Against Insurance Companies The application of federal law, especially RICO, to the insurance industry should provide policyholders with additional remedies to combat persistent and repetitive practices of insurance companies that damage large numbers of policyholders. The Court’s decision may also result in the application of numerous other federal civil and criminal laws, including federal consumer protection law and civil rights law, to the insurance industry and HMOs as well. Pdf 82 kb
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF KANSAS We hold K.S.A. 2004 Supp. 21-3522 unconstitutional as violating the equal protection provisions of the United States and Kansas Constitutions and strike from the statute the words "and are members of the opposite sex." We further hold that Limon's conviction and sentence for criminal sodomy pursuant to K.S.A. 21-3505(a)(2) violate his right to equal protection of the laws.  
INSURANCE “CRISIS” OFFICIALLY OVER – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE RATES HAVE BEEN STABLE FOR A YEAR

The most recent data from the Council of Independent Agents and Brokers now confirms that the large medical malpractice insurance rate increases that took hold around the nation in 2001 and 2002 have ended.

The average rate hike for doctors over the past six months has been 0 percent. This is following similar results for the last quarter of 2004, which saw rates rising only 3 percent at the end of that year. By comparison, rates jumped 63 percent during the same quarter of 2002.

This phenomenon it is occurring whether or not states enacted restrictions on patients’ legal rights, such as “caps” on compensation.
Pdf 336 kb
Is having HIV a crime? In what was apparently Kansas’s first HIV-exposure case, 30-year-old Robert W. Richardson II was sentenced to 32 months in prison and 56 months probation in connection with exposing three women to HIV. It was said that jurors in the case were disgusted by Richardson’s deception with the women, particularly his assertion that his health problems were caused by a heart condition. Richardson maintains that he had been truthful by saying he had a “HAART” condition, or Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy, which is a common name for one form of HIV treatment. While I hardly think anyone would argue that Richardson’s actions were not deplorable, shouldn’t these women accept some responsibility for their own actions?  
JUDITH LANG, aka Judith Clark-Lang, Plaintiff-Appellant v. Long-Term Disability Plan

Appellant Judith Lang applied for long-term disability benefits under her employee benefit plan. Appellee Standard Insurance Company was the issuer and administrator of the plan. Lang indicated an inability work based on job-related stress. Her symptoms included crying, throwing up before work, inability to concentrate, and insomnia. Standard applied the "mental disorder" two-year limitation to her claim, applicable when a disability was "caused or contributed to" by a mental disorder. "Mental disorder" was defined as a mental, emotional, behavioral, or stress-related disorder. The plan was silent as whether the administrator should look to causes or symptoms when determining whether the claimant had a mental disorder. While receiving benefits, Lang was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a type of rheumatism which is commonly accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbances, lack of concentration, changes in mood, anxiety, and depression. The anxiety and depression are considered to be symptoms of the muscular disease, rather than causes of it. Lang requested a reassessment. Standard refused to remove the mental disorder limitation, explaining that it had found no objective medical evidence to support her claim that she had fibromyalgia, and that it still believed that her disability was caused or contributed to by depression. Standard's quality assurance unit affirmed on different grounds, stating that [11904] Lang had failed to establish that her fibromyalgia, separate from psychological factors, was disabling in and of itself and that it considered symptoms, not cause, when deciding whether to apply the mental disorder limitation.

 
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES LAWSUIT ALLEGING HIV DISCRIMINATION BY RV RESORT IN ALABAMA The Justice Department today announced the settlement of a Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) discrimination lawsuit against Wales West LLC, owner and operator of Wales West RV Resort and Train and Garden Lovers Family Park in Silverhill, Ala. The settlement, embodied in a consent decree, was approved today by Judge Callie V.S. Granade in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.  
Lambda Legal and ARCW File Federal Lawsuit on Behalf of HIV Positive Woman Denied Surgery by Healthcare Provider Lambda Legal and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) filed a federal lawsuit today in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on behalf of Melody Rose, a 35-year-old Wisconsin woman who was denied surgery to remove her gallbladder because she has HIV.  
Last cases against Palo Alto lab worker dismissed Two people who believe they were infected with HIV and hepatitis C by a lab worker who reused needles, plan to appeal a judge's dismissal of their cases.  
Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Willful Exposure to HIV
Behavioral research indicates that a substantial proportion of people 
who know they are infected with HIV sometimes engage in unsafe 
sexual or needle sharing behavior without informing their partners of 
their infection
 
10 kb pdf
Legislative Survey of State Confidentiality Laws, with Specific Emphasis on HIV and Immunization This report examines current state and federal law protecting the confidentiality of health information. It focuses on four specific areas: public health information held by government, privately held health care information, HIV and AIDS-related information, and immunization information.
Martin studies tainted blood lawsuit THE government is considering hiring an American law firm to take a multi-million-dollar case against US-based drug companies implicated in infecting Irish haemophiliacs with HIV and hepatitis C.
Medical malpractice law in the United States This paper provides a brief overview of the issues surrounding medical malpractice law.  It begins by briefly describing how medical malpractice law works.  Following sections discuss the legal changes that states have made over the past thirty years in response to periodic concerns about rising medical malpractice costs, some newer proposals for changing medical malpractice law, and trend data looking at changes in the number of claims and average and total claims costs 930 kb pdf

Medical Methadone Maintenance: The Further Concealment

The physicians recruited for medical maintenance were the first doctors permitted to prescribe opiates for maintenance in private medical practice by the FDA and the DEA since the passage of the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914. Prior to the establishment of methadone maintenance, physicians were harassed and incarcerated if they prescribed narcotic drugs for anything but the alleviation of pain.

 

Medical Waste: It's Unregulated and Threatening the Health of the Public and Environment Mail-Back Solutions to Disposal and Transportation of Medical Waste Exist

An unsuspecting child is stuck by a used syringe while retrieving a ball that bounced into the neighbor's trash. A trash collector is cut by a used syringe while transferring a load into the truck. A hotel housekeeper reaches under the mattress to change the bed and sticks her hand on a used syringe. Or a homecare nurse drives her family around for the weekend with a sharps container full of used patient syringes in the back seat of her vehicle.

 

Microsoft Loses Disability Case

Tom Davis, a systems engineer who had worked at Microsoft since 1987 -- and in the software giant's Original Equipment Makers group for more than 5 years -- was diagnosed in 1997 with Hepatitis C, an incurable and potentially fatal liver disease.

 

NEW ORLEANS DENTIST TO 
PAY $120,000 FOR 
REFUSING TO TREAT 
PATIENTS WITH HIV UNDER 
SETTLEMENT WITH JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT
The Justice Department sued the dentist in October 1993, alleging that Morvant and his dental corporation unfairly denied routine dental services to Russell Hodgkinson and Ismael Pena after informing them the office did not treat HIV-positive patients.   
Not saying he is HIV+ gets man charged with felony

The crime becomes a first-degree felony if the victim is a police officer, a measure apparently added with undercover park sex “stings” in mind.

The law is vigorously opposed by AIDS activists who say that it puts more people at risk by discouraging HIV tests among those who engage in the riskiest behaviors.
 
OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE – UNDERSTANDING THE LAW
The statutory formula for compensability for occupational disease 
is similar to that for accidental injuries, that is, “compensation for 
personal injuries to or for death of such employee by any 
“compensable” occupational disease arising out of and in the 
course of the employment” Section 30.  There appears to me to 
be three essential elements of Section 30. There must be an injury 
or death – due to a “compensable” occupational disease – which 
must arise out of and in the course of the employment.  
 

Patients Seek Answers On Surgeon Who Spread Hepatitis

Former heart surgery patients jammed telephone lines at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset yesterday in an effort to find out whether they were operated on by a doctor who apparently transmitted hepatitis C to several patients in the course of surgery during the past decade.

 

People Who Pass On AIDS Virus May be Sued People infected with the virus that causes AIDS may sue the sexual partner who transmitted the virus to them even if the partner did not do so knowingly, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday.  
Philadelphia Settles Lawsuit Over Alleged Discrimination Against HIV-Positive Man by EMTs The city of Philadelphia on Monday settled a civil-rights lawsuit over alleged discrimination against an HIV-positive man who said that city emergency medical technicians provided inappropriate care after they leaned his HIV status  
PIERCING THE VEIL OF SECRECY IN HIV/AIDS AND OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES: THEORIES OF PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE IN PARTNER NOTIFICATION Secrecy nurtures disease because it provides an environment conducive to the spread of infection. Where the social construction of sexuality and disease condones secrecy, sex partners are unaware of the risks, and public health authorities cannot track the epidemic in order to positively intervene. Not surprisingly, one of the earliest recorded public health strategies for STD prevention was to pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding these hidden diseases by notifying sexual partners ("contacts") of infected patients ("index" cases). Sexual "contact tracing" was supported by the moral theory that sexual partners could take precautions and seek medical treatment if the risk of infection was disclosed. Once the risks of infection were identified, the incidence of STD infection would decline suggestively as infected persons reduced behaviors that placed them at risk for disease.  
R. v. J.I. Between Her Majesty the Queen, and J.I. Sentencing of JI for failure to provide the necessaries of life. JI was charged with and pled guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life to her newborn child. JI was infected with HIV. She had given birth to one child already with all of the appropriate precautions in place. That child remained free of the HIV virus. JI had been provided with extensive neo natal counseling during her subsequent pregnancy but had bypassed all available treatments and failed to inform medical staff during the delivery of her HIV positive status. She insisted on breastfeeding the newborn child, ESN, knowing that this would increase the risk of transmission. ESN was found to be HIV positive. Pdf 11 kb
Rapid HIV Screening at the Point of Care-Legal and Ethical Questions Early in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a concerted effort was made to address the issues surrounding HIV-antibody testing and confidentiality in a way that would respect the human rights of individuals, yet at the same time promote the goals of protecting public health. 712 kb pdf
REDDICK v CHATER This case involves a claim for Social Security disability benefits by Susan Reddick ("Claimant") who was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ("CFS"). The Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") found that Claimant suffered from CFS but that she was not disabled because the disease did not undermine her ability to perform substantial gainful work. The district court concluded that the ALJ's decision was supported by substantial evidence and granted summary judgment for the Commissioner. A principal issue in this case is whether the ALJ was justified in discounting the testimony of Claimant, her treating doctor, and an examining doctor concerning her disability from fatigue, and instead relying upon the testimony of two consultative examiners who concluded that she was not disabled.  
Standard of Review - At issue is how the Court reviews the decision to deny or terminate benefits Judicial Court cases  
STATE OF OHIO, v JIMMY L. BIRD Amici Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. and The Ohio Human Rights Bar Association submit this brief in support of Appellant Jimmy Bird.  Amici are vitally interested in ensuring that individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus ("HIV") or living with acquired immune deficiency syndrome ("AIDS") are afforded the same constitutional protections in the criminal context as are all other individuals, and that the criminal law serve as a vehicle for only legitimate state purposes.  
State vs Jones Attached is Heather Sawyer's amicus brief in State of Ohio v. Bird, also attaching a list of criminal transmission cases, some of which may be relevant, and a spitting case out of New Mexico where there was no evidence that the defendant actually carried a communicable disease... one further observation regarding the sufficiency of the evidence in each case to amount to an "actual threat to the safety" of the officer.   We acknowledge that spitting or throwing bodily waste may give rise to rational concerns about infection or communicable disease.   The jailers in the Cordova prosecution argued as much.    
Supreme Court To Decide Whether Employer May Deny Job for Employee's "Own Good" "Every job involves some risks, but the question is, do we let people make those risk assessments for themselves, or do we let employers decide?" said James Esseks, Litigation Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian & Gay Rights/HIV AIDS Project and primary author of a friend-of-the-court brief the organization filed in the case.   
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Prognosis for Recovery from Severe Impairment and Qualification for Disability Benefits The current report briefly reviews the definition of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and current methods of treatment. Then, a number of recent research studies which examine long-term prognosis for sufferers are examined in detail. It is concluded that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is frequently an extremely debilitating disorder with no available effective treatments. Medical research has recently demonstrated that a substantial proportion of individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome remain severely impaired indefinitely.  
The D.C. Court of Appeals The D.C. Court of Appeals recently handed down an important en banc decision reversing a trial's court order evicting a mentally ill tenant whose messy apartment violated the lease.  The court found that the tenant's request for a stay of the eviction proceeding to allow the tenant to receive services to clean up the apartment and thereby cure the lease violation constituted a request for a reasonable accommodation that should have been granted.  See Douglas v. Kriegsfeld Corp., 2005 WL 2600210.  
The Dentist, HIV and the Law: Duty to Treat, Need to Understand The advent of the AIDS epidemic marked the end of a brief "golden age" of infectious disease control that began with the first polio vaccine in 1954, and ended in 1981 with the first AIDS case reports. That brief golden age was when many professionals were trained in their fields. It was a time when everyone - dentists, infectious disease specialists and the public alike - came to believe that the eternal threat of epidemics had been vanquished forever, at least for those nations wealthy enough to afford the latest technology  
The Duty to Warn and Protect - Impact on Practice The authors discuss the concepts of the duty to protect and the associated threat to confidentiality and their impact on practice for Canadian psychiatrists. They review these concepts and provide a synthesis of legal cases impacting psychiatric practice. and conclude that the onus is on the psychiatrist to make him or herself aware of the current state of the legal obligation with respect to duty to protect. The evolving concept of duty to protect has and will continue to have significant impact on the practice of psychiatry. The practice of medicine is increasingly subject to external review and legislation. Both have a significant impact on psychiatry in terms of risk assessment and the duty to warn or protect third parties  

THE PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY SYSTEM AND COLLABORATION WITH LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS

P&As are mandated under various Federal statutes (see next section) to provide legal representation and other advocacy services to all persons with disabilities. Indeed, P&As, collectively, are the largest providers of legally-based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. These services are provided through a variety of vehicles: individual representation

 

The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, the nation’s largest HIV specific federal grant program and a critical source of care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, was due to be reauthorized by the United States Congress for the third time by the end of FY 2005. However, Congress has not yet acted to reauthorize the CARE Act, and the program’s authority has been extended under current law while Reauthorization discussions continue. Pdf 223 kb
The Supreme Court and its Impact on the HIV/AIDS and LGBT Communities The Supreme Court has long been the final recourse of the oppressed and disenfranchised and demonized. Arguably, it is the branch of government most likely to respond not to the numbers of the majority, but to the rights of the marginalized minority. Today, when two out of three branches of the government are dominated by a conservative agenda, it is even more critical that the high court uphold the rights under attack by Congress and the White House.  
Therapist’s Duty to Protect Third Parties-Balancing Public Safety and Patient Confidentiality When a therapist determines, or pursuant to the standards of the profession should determine, that his patient presents a serious danger of violence to another, he incurs an obligation to use reasonable care to protect the intended victim against such danger.  The discharge of this duty many require the therapist to take one or more of various steps, depending upon the nature of the case.  Thus it may call for him to warn the intended victim or others likely to apprise the victim of the danger, to notify the police, or to take whatever other steps are reasonably necessary under the circumstances. Pdf 26 kb

TORT LAW OUTLINE

Several different examples of these cases

 

Two Maine Inmates Plan to sue State to receive Hepatitis C Treatment in Current Facility

Two prisoners at the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Maine are planning to file a lawsuit against the state for not providing hepatitis C treatment at the facility, the  Bangor Daily News reports.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Cuts Back Protections of the ADA On Wednesday, February 21, the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled that individuals cannot recover money damages against States for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  
USA vs. The American National Red Cross Court Ruling and Actions concerning the US Courts and the American Red Cross on how they supply blood products Pdf 429 kb
Victims tell of tears, pain from hepatitis Too weak to stand, Pamela Wallace asked if she could sit to address the court. Once a faceless, nameless plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit, Wallace chose Friday to identify herself, by name and profession, by offering personal details and private longings, and by detailing, once and for all, what she has lost  

** In order to view PDF files, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Many computers already have this software; however, if you need it, a free copy is available for download at this site: Click here to get Adobe Acrobat Reader.