As a patient with HIV who is receiving medical care from a health care provider, you have certain legal rights. You are entitled to:
- Reasonable care no matter you race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, age or source of income;
- Request and receive information in a manner you can reasonably understand about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis;
- Know the identity of every individual involved in your care, including students and volunteers;
- Discuss and plan out your care with a physician or nurse, and can even refuse certain treatment, without fear of retaliation;
- The right to privacy, including all your medical records being treated as confidential;
- The right to review your own medical records and request copies of them;
- The right to a proper amount of time during medical visits to discuss any medical concerns or questions you may have;
- The right to get an advance notice for change of fees or billing practices and a reasonable explanation of those changes;
- The right to treatment by caregivers who provide medical care to the best of their abilities in a safe and sterile manner;
- The right to know what kind of relationships your caregivers have with other parties, such as insurance companies, that might affect your care;
- The right to be informed of realistic alternatives for care when current treatment is no longer working; and
- The right for your caregivers to provide reasonable assistance to overcome language barrier, cultural, physical or communication barriers.
Can Health Care Provider Disclose my HIV Status to Anyone?
A patient’s medical records and HIV status must be kept confidential at all times. A doctor or medical provider shall not disclose any medical information about the patient without the patient’s informed consent. Under no circumstances may a client’s HIV status be communicated to anyone without prior permission from the client.
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- AIDS Discrimination Lawyers
- Liability for Transmitting a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
- Disclosure of HIV Status to a Sexual Partner
Can Health Care Provider Refuse to Treat a Patient with HIV?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) healthcare providers protect people with HIV from any kinds of discrimination. Under the state and local laws, doctors or dentists cannot refuse to treat people with HIV.
However, all health care providers are not required to treat HIV patients. If the person seeking medical treatment is outside the health providers specialty, the health provider can refuse the patient and refer them to another doctor or health provider that is experienced and is in that specialty medical field.
Should I Consult an Attorney Concerning My Rights as an HIV Patient?
If you feel your rights as an HIV patient have been violated, then you may want to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and let you know if you may be entitled to money damages in a lawsuit against the health care provider or medical facility.