Outraged Woman Sues Doctor for Telling Her She Is HIV Positive

Say What!? 20

Imagine you've been to the doctor multiple times for a vitamin deficiency. Now imagine that even after numerous treatments, you still have a deficiency, as well as low white blood cell counts. So your doctor runs some blood tests and finds out something awful. You are HIV-positive. He informs you of this. Do you a) cry, b) be grateful you found out what the problem is and commence treating your HIV, c) sue the doctor. If you're a certain 31-year-old woman in the sue-happy state of New York, you do c. Your reason? Besides hoping for a quick payout, I mean? Because you just don't want to know. Um ... okaaaay.

The unidentified woman is suing her doctor at Lifex Medical Care in New York because he tested her for HIV without her knowledge. Granted, in this state you do need to consent to being tested for HIV. The woman claims that even though the doctor recommended an HIV test to try and find the root of her health problems, she refused it. Why would anyone refuse an HIV test?

Because she just don't wanna know.

Says the woman:

I was tricked. I never signed any paper. It was a slap in the face. My body got numb. I was not good after that.

Hm, this sounds suspiciously like someone who doesn't want to take responsibility for her own health. I can understand not wanting to know if you've got terminal cancer. When my grandmother was diagnosed, she specifically asked the doctor and her family NOT to tell her the extent of the disease.

But the HIV virus you can transmit to other people. Why wouldn't you want to know about it? Maybe you don't want to worry about the precautions you will now have to take for the rest of your life? Maybe not want to worry about the conversations you may have to have with sexual partners? Maybe you didn't want to know so you won't be tempted to tell anyone, who then might judge you or react badly? Maybe you just don't want to be honest and responsible. Maybe.

Her lawyer says she had her reasons for not wanting to know, but doesn't say what those are. Maybe she's worried about the registry of HIV-positive people she will now be entered into, and what will be done with that information. Maybe she's worried about being denied health coverage in the future.

But when it comes to your health -- and the risk your health may pose to others -- you can't just bury your head in the sand. The truth -- even about HIV -- will set you free.

Would you want to know if you were HIV-positive?


Image via David_Jones/Flickr

doctors, healthy habits, medicine, medical tests

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nonmember avatar Krelia

Only in America....
Maybe she's a Prostitute and this hurts her business?

navyw... navywife0204

perhaps she knew of a former lover that has already died of the disease, or told her that he was positive, and she's in massive denial... unfortunately, by know knowing for sure, she is endangering the public.  Suppose she was in an accident and she infected the people trying to help her?

SickO... SickOfMorons

Legally, you can't even test for HIV without permission.

Miche... Michelephant

The article linked in this also says that her results weren't kept confidential.  So she does have grounds for a lawsuit.  Personally though I think an HIV test should be done as part of every well visit.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

I can't even grasp how stupid you would have to be to do thi. HIV is a communicable disease, and infecting someone else is pretty much handing out a death sentence. If it's suspected you have HIV, then surely you would want to know, so you could deal with it and not infect a lover??

nonmember avatar HS

Getting tested for HIV is a very hard thing to do. I remember being scared thinking What if it comes back positive and not knowing what I'd do. But I asked my doc to do it anyway and of course it came back negative but still. It's a mental thing of being scared of the unknown.

early... earlybird11

Chances.are she had an idea and didn't want to have to tell past lovers. Most states have a law where if j have an std, the Dr must inform past lovers

nonmember avatar Mandie

The LAW is the LAW. Why wasn't the doctor SIMPLY honest? The doctor like many other doctors could have refuse to evaluate the patient IF she refuse to have all tests - including the HIV test (the women was probably charged for it anyway).

Jespren Jespren

Informed consent. She didn't consent to the test, the doctor was 100% in the wrong for preforming it against her wishes. Her being an idiot doesn't excuse his ethical lapse. NO MEANS NO.

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