Justice Department Settles with Indiana Doctor Over Discrimination Against an Individual with HIV
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit and consent decree today to resolve allegations that Pain Management Care P.C., of South Bend, Indiana, refused to treat an individual because he has HIV, in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The department’s investigation found that the individual had sought interventional pain management treatment through anesthesiologist and pain management specialist Dr. Joseph Glazier. An employee of Pain Management Care informed the individual that Glazier would not treat him “due to [his] condition of being HIV positive.” Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations, such as healthcare providers, from discriminating against people with disabilities, including HIV.
Under the consent decree, which still must be approved by the court, Pain Management Care P.C. will develop a non-discrimination policy, provide ADA training to its employees, submit annual reports to the United States, pay $20,000 to the complainant in monetary damages and $10,000 in civil penalties to the United States.
“The Justice Department is committed to eradicating discrimination resulting from the unfounded fear and dangerous stereotype that someone with HIV would pose a threat to a medical provider,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Discrimination by those in the medical profession breaks a trust critical to ensuring access to appropriate treatment for all.”
This settlement is part of the department’s Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, a partnership of the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the nation to target enforcement efforts in a critical area for individuals with disabilities: access to health care. For more information on the Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative visit http://www.ada.gov/usao-agreements.htm.
For more information on the ADA, HIV discrimination and this lawsuit, visit www.ada.gov/aids. Those interested in finding out more about the obligations of healthcare providers under the ADA may call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov. ADA complaints may be filed by email to email@example.com.