Headlines New Jersey Man Denied HIV Medication

Discussion in 'News & Debate' started by kwsn, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. kwsn

    kwsn Randomly popping in

    ELIZABETH, N.J. (CN) - A gay HIV-positive man says in court that a hospital denied him treatment and visitors, as the doctor remarked, "This is what he gets for going against God's will."

    Joao Simoes sued Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Union County Superior Court. He says that the hospital admitted him in August 2011, but that "requests for his lifesaving medication were not honored," and his sister was denied visitation rights.

    Susan V. Borga, M.D., from the Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry, allegedly approached Simoes while he was confined to the hospital's mental health wing. Borga is not named as a defendant.

    Simoes says Borga was unfazed when another patient told her that he had just gotten out of prison, where he served time for murder. But her reaction was allegedly different when Simoes said that he did not work because he planned to go back to school and because of his HIV status.

    Borga then allegedly asked Simoes how he got HIV, to which he responded, "I got it from unprotected sex."
    The complaint then says that "Dr. Borga closed the plaintiff's file, put it down and looked at plaintiff with disgust on her face and asked, coldly, "Is that from sex with men?"

    Simoes says he responded affirmatively and that, "immediately after hearing this, Dr. Borga proceeded to exit the room."

    After this consultation, no nurse or doctor came to see Simoes, even though he told them that he needed to take his HIV medication, according to the complaint.

    When the hospital finally permitted Simoes to call his personal physician on the third day of his stay, he learned that the doctor had already spoken with Borga about Simoes' medication, according to the complaint.
    Borga allegedly responded: "You must be gay, too, if you're his doctor."

    "Additionally, apparently realizing that plaintiff's doctor had an accent, Dr. Borga exclaimed, 'What, do you need a translator?' to which plaintiff's doctor had again responded that Dr. Borga needed to give plaintiff his HIV medication," the complaint states.

    "Dr. Borga responded to plaintiff's doctor by stating, 'This is what he gets for going against God's will,' and hung up the phone on plaintiff's doctor."

    Simoes says his sister had been at the hospital when he checked in, but the hospital refused to let her visit.
    When the sister came to the hospital again on the day Simoes spoke with his personal physician, she brought her brother's medication.

    "Plaintiff witnessed his sister leave his medication with the nurses' station and it was not until this time that the nurses, seeing that the plaintiff had witnessed his sister give his medication to the nurses, that the nurses eventually gave plaintiff his medication," the complaint states.

    The hospital's conduct allegedly caused Simoes to miss five doses of his medication.

    Simoes seeks punitive damages for discrimination. He is represented by Kevin Costello with Costello & Mains of Mount Laurel, N.J.



    (Note to mods, if this is better elsewhere, I apologize in advance).

    Does anyone else miss the days where the Hippocratic Oath was what mattered?
  2. RebelBuddha

    RebelBuddha King of Kurrumpaw

    At first It seemed like the guy was asking for free medication. In which case... I don't think he should be given free medication for a lifestyle choice (not being gay but un-protected sex). Later in the article it says the sister dropped the medication off which leads me to believe that he had already purchased the medication.

    I'm inclined to believe that because he was in a mental ward that medications have to be screened. I'm not sure if that takes the time mentioned but if thats the case the doctors personal feelings on the matter have no bearing for or against the standpoint. If however he was denied his medication because the doctor disagreed with the fact that he's gay... well thats just fucked up.

    I believe when admitted to a mental ward you must undergo evaluation, a time period in which no contact with family or others is permitted. He should have had a file of some sort listing his conditions and regardless precautions should have been taken.

    Three days seems like a short amount of time. I'd be interested to hear what the complainants doctor said about it all.

    I have a mind to say that there is some extra drama in this whole story and it will be uncovered.
  3. Coa

    Coa Whore free since 2010. Premium

    Nurses can only give meds when they have been ordered by a doctor. If there are no orders from a doctor a nurse can loose their license if they give any, and I do mean any, medication other than O2 up to 4L, via nasal cannula in a case of extreme respiratory distress. I mean we can't even give you a Tums unless a doctor orders it.

    All home medications regardless of what type of facility you are in, regardless of reason, are held until they are reconciled with what you are admitted for, and what medication a doctor sees fit to order. I bet you that man's doctor is not going to stand up in open court and testify against the attending psychiatrist - no way in hell.
  4. kwsn

    kwsn Randomly popping in

    It doesn't say if it was consensual or rape. All it says it was sex with a man who was HIV positive in prison.
  5. 3Dradio

    3Dradio I seriously never change this shit. Premium

    This doctor deserves to get hit by a dirty hiv infected needle.
  6. Bitch

    Bitch Spaghetti suit! The new take out! Staff

    The facility doctor was definitely in the wrong. True she cannot administer the drugs without the personal doctor's permission, but this nurse was not acting out of orders. She was discriminating against this man's circumstance. Whether it was consensual or rape meant little to her as she didn't ask. It is likely it was consensual because from what I understand, the sexual act was done before he was in the facility. Otherwise, how would he have missed 5 doses and how would his sister know what he takes. What gives everything away as far as how far she'd go to reject this man's medications was how she talked to his personal doctor who was giving the orders to administer the medications. She had no right to talk to him that way nor did she have the right to deny the man his medication. I believe (though I have no professional knowledge) if someone is going to a prison, jail, or mental facility with a pre-existing condition, medications need to be continued (with a doctor's permission of course as proof of illness). The idea is to keep the person alive and healthy. Otherwise, in this case, that doctor has decided she's God's judge and jury and can determine who has the right to live and how to live based on her ignorance and prejudice.
  7. RebelBuddha

    RebelBuddha King of Kurrumpaw

    I'm sorry... where does it say he was in prison?
  8. steelasp

    steelasp The Asp of Steel Premium

    third paragraph.
    • Smite Smite x 1
  9. jujubee

    jujubee ~what it is~ Premium

    Man, everything really does happen in Jersey, eh.
  10. steelasp

    steelasp The Asp of Steel Premium

    meh. nevermind. That was a different patient.
  11. RebelBuddha

    RebelBuddha King of Kurrumpaw

    Yeah.... see I read where it says that the doctor was unfazed by ANOTHER patient being in prison for murder and I even read where it says the plaintiff was in a mental ward, however it says nothing about the plaintiff being in prison. Reading comprehension man. :punch:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Coa

    Coa Whore free since 2010. Premium

    Once you are admitted into any facility, your care up to and including medications, falls on the facility. It is highly unusual for a hospital to allow you to have, or administer any medication that did not originate from the hospital's pharmacy.

    In short they don't have to give you anything, because sometimes the home drugs have ill pharmacological side effects when mixed with what ever the facility is giving.
  13. jujubee

    jujubee ~what it is~ Premium

    Taking a stand on either side of this particular thing conjures 'house of cards'-images, lol. There are far too many allegedlies, processing can take a good deal of time, the guy was confined in the mental wing *and* we never hear from the sister?:)
  14. Coa

    Coa Whore free since 2010. Premium

    The filed complaint can be found here.

    Of note:
    What is the doctor supposed to say exactly? Oh that's great you killed someone?

    If (and this is a big if) Dr. Borga conducted an interview with another patient in front of the plaintiff the doctor is guilty of violating HIPPA. HIPPA is drilled into everyone's head, all of the time.

    *Note - the attending doctor never said this directly to the complainant and the complainant only knew about these comments due to what his primary physician said the other doctor told him.

    Unless his primary testifies, and has proof, this case will be dismissed.

    The thing that really bothers me about this story is the plaintiff was admitted for what looks like a mandatory 72 hour psychiatric hold. (Edit - according to the complaint the plaintiff was a voluntary admit) No mention as to why this person was admitted from the ER directly into psych, but this usually doesn't happen unless someone presents a danger to themselves or others. The patient was HIV+ and missing five doses of medication would not put the patient's life in jeopardy.

    Many times people make HIV+ status and full blown AIDS one in the same when they are clearly not.

  15. Dead Set

    Dead Set Kang of Pang Premium

    The MHP probably made the call that he was depressed because he couldn't get his medication.

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