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AIDS Discrimination by Medical Care Providers: Is Washington Law an Adequate Remedy?

NCJ Number
Washington Law Review Volume: 63 Issue: 3 Dated: (July 1988) Pages: 701-724
J Reiner
Date Published
24 pages
Existing Federal and Washington State statutes prohibiting discrimination against AIDS patients by medical and health care providers are underused and vague.
Despite existing antidiscrimination laws, medical treat AIDS patients. In order to establish an effective AIDS antidiscrimination law in the State of Washington, common forms of medical care discrimination should be explicitly banned by statute. In addition, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test results should not become a part of a patient's permanent record, and the confidentiality of the hospital records of AIDS patients should be carefully protected. The Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the State of Washington's 1988 Omnibus AIDS Act bans AIDS discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and the provision of public services, but they do not expressly prohibit medical care providers from refusing to treat AIDS or HIV positive patients. Administrative remedies should be provided to assist AIDS patients seeking nondiscriminatory medical care. Courts should be authorized to provide educational counseling to individuals or institutions found guilty of discriminatory treatment of AIDS patients. 170 footnotes.