Dec 12, 1997
Wondering what the legal ramifications are for someone who is aware
that he is positive, but claimed for several months that he was not
and subsequently engaged in unprotected activity resulting in my
becoming infected. This individual is a practicing pediatric trauma
M.D. and unfortunately, I never thought that a physician who is HIV+
would be permitted to engage in the types of invasive procedures
inherent in such a position. He went so far as to claim that not only
did he have no risk of prior exposure, he had been undergoing testing
because of a needle stick accident that occurred while treating a
young child. (This is in Florida) Thanks.
Response from Ms. Breuer
Intentional transmission of HIV may be misdemeanor in some states. (I don't know if its a crime in Florida) The element of this issue is whether the transmitter of the virus had malicous intent to infect another person. If so, then he/she may be criminally liable in some states.
As for doctors with HIV treating patients -- there is no law or professional rule that prohibits doctors from treating patients. If doctors use universal precautions, there very little likihood of HIV transmission.
-- David Grunwald
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