Which party do you think should win this case and why


Guidelines: This assignment requires you to post an original thought that may require some research and outside readings and respond to at least one of your classmates thoughts. In total, you will need to make a minimum of two posts. Your original thought must be at least two paragraphs in length with five sentences in each paragraph (should include a citation – see info on “sources” below). Your response post must be at least one paragraph in length with five sentences (does not need a citation). While the original post should include a citation, please remember that this is not a formal academic paper and your postings should retain a “discussion” flavor (however “texting terms” are not acceptable.

Topic: A hospital has on staff an orthopedic surgeon who is found to be HIV-positive. The hospital initially terminates the doctor’s surgical privileges then reinstates them on the condition that he notifies his patients of his HIV status prior to performing any procedures. The hospital also removes the doctor from referral lists for two non-surgical clinics it operates and widely circulates information to colleagues, staff and others who made referrals to the doctor that he is no longer providing patient care. The hospital asserts this was necessary to ensure patient safety. The doctor files suit and says the hospital is discriminating against him under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Previous cases have examined four factors in determining whether a person disabled by a communicable disease poses a “significant risk” sufficient to justify discrimination.

These include:

  • 1) the nature of the risk (how the disease is transmitted);
  • 2) the duration of the risk (how long the carrier is infectious);
  • 3) the severity of the risk (the potential harm to third parties), and
  • 4) the probability that the disease will be transmitted and cause varying degrees of harm.

The doctor argues that the risk of HIV transmission is infinitely small, less so than the risks associated with radiation from various machines used in patient care. He also points out that the hospital has other quality of care issues and it was more likely that a patient would die from a surgical mistake made by a physician than by him infecting the patient with HIV. He further argues that physicians with drug or alcohol abuse problems are not required to disclose this information to patients. The hospital maintains that its primary concern is patient safety, and that contracting HIV would result in a debilitating condition and even death for a patient.

Which party do you think should win this case and why? Be sure to back up your argument using the concepts discussed in the Learning Module this week plus any additional research you do to help with supporting your position.

Sources: To receive full credit, you must cite at least one academic or government source to support your position in your original thought post. Please do not cite your book – this assignment requires you to do additional work. The following websites are not appropriate academic citations: Wikipedia.com; Ehow.com; Ask.com; About.com or anything in the same genre.