Health Workers Cannot Refuse to Provide Treatment to HIV-Positive People, India's Supreme Court Rules
October 3, 2008
A panel of India's Supreme Court on Wednesday approved instructions from the country's Centre Party that health care workers in all government and private hospitals cannot refuse medical treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS, The Hindu reports. The Supreme Court panel -- consisting of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, as well as Justices Ashok Bhan and P. Sathasivam -- ruled that all of India's states should implement the Centre's instructions, which state that all medical professionals in both public and private sectors must treat people living with HIV/AIDS "in a professional manner, treating them always with dignity and care" and with "no discrimination of stigma whatsoever." Health workers cannot refuse medical treatment based on a person's HIV/AIDS status, and those working in the private sector "in particular are directed to immediately familiarize themselves with the National AIDS Control Organisation's comprehensive protocols and policies with regard to care and treatment," the Centre's instructions said. In addition, reports of denial of services to HIV-positive people should be considered serious and investigated, the instructions said, adding that all states should ensure that certain districts have at least one antiretroviral treatment center (The Hindu, 10/2).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.