Catholic Hospital Denies Gay Man HIV Medicine

A Catholic hospital is being sued for denial of HIV medication to a gay man “for going against God’s will.”

Trinitas Regional Medical Center, says Joao Simoes, admitted him last August but then denied him the medicine he needed and also would not let his sister see him.

Denial of access to medicine for people living with HIV/AIDS, even for short periods, can have serious consequences for long term survival because of drug resistance. This can result from missing as few as five doses — which Simoes says he missed.

The complaint says that after admittance he met Dr. Susan V. Borga. She asked him how he had acquired HIV and “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?’”

Three days later, he was finally permitted to ring his personal physician and learned that he had already told Borga about his medication, but he had not received any or been visited by any doctor.

Borga had allegedly told his physician: “You must be gay, too, if you’re his doctor.”

The complaint adds:

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.

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.

American Medical Association (AMA) policy is that “physicians can conscientiously object to the treatment of a patient only in non-emergent situations” and that they “must provide alternative(s) which include a prompt and appropriate referral.”

Principle I of the AMA Principles of Medical Ethics calls upon physicians to provide medical care with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights. Accordingly, physicians may not decline to accept patients based on their race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or “any other basis that would constitute invidious discrimination”

You can sign a petition to Trinitas here.

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Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – Stars Speak Out

Image: Wikipedia


Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

This petition is not closed: Trinitas Hospital, Don't Deny Gay AIDS Patients Their Meds
The one mentioned in the text is.

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

I wish I had seen the petition before - now is closed.
This doctor deserves to lose her license to practice medicine! what kind of Doctor she is???
I feel sorry for everyone who cross her way.

antonia maestre
antonia maestre5 years ago

They call themselves Christians?

Evelyn M.
Evelyn M5 years ago

Dresia V I agree with all your statements except one. "lifestyle". Who knows how this unfortunate man acquired AIDS, it could have been thru a tainted blood transfusion before they started testing, or from his wife. We should never assume anything. Would send you a green star but for that statement.

Dresia Vaughn
Dresia Vaughn5 years ago

I meant to say, shame shame shame on the Catholic Hospital, not church. Sorry readers.

Dresia Vaughn
Dresia Vaughn5 years ago

SHAME SHAME SHAME, on the Catholic Church. Who are you to judge? All hospitals, rather it’s abroad or beyond, should ALWAYS, be in the business of saving lives. This man, and any other person living with HIV, should never, EVER, be denied medical help. I don’t blame him for suing the hospital and or nurse/Doctor who would not treat him. No one is God! The people who are living this lifestyle will answer to God for their actions; they don’t owe man any explanation. We are not in any position to judge and criticize someone’s life style. Sure, I’m against that life style as well but if I worked in a hospital, as an employee of that hospital, it is my duty to help any and every one that walks through the doors of that hospital and not deny them medical attention. If anything, what they should have done was pass out a pamphlet that educates one on HIV. Sounds like this hospital is in the business of judging? I’m sure the staff that denied this man medical attention has flaws they deserve to be scolded on too.

Mary Mattarelli
Mary Mattarelli5 years ago

sad sad. That catholic hospital should be sued they have no right to judge that guy.

Shanna T.
Shanna T.5 years ago

At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession, I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity.

I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;

I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;

The health of my patient will be my first consideration;

I will respect the secrets which are confided in me;

I will maintain by all the means in my power the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;

My colleagues will be my brothers and sisters;

I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, gender, politics, socioeconomic standing, or sexual orientation to intervene between my duty and my patient;

I will maintain the utmost respect for human life; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.

I make those promises solemnly, freely, and upon my honor.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold5 years ago

Because of their religious beliefs, they denied a human of the basic needs of his life to live. Just because he is gay doesn't mean that he got HIV from another fellow. Besides, what business it of hers what caused it? She took an oath to help humanity. What makes her think that she is better than God?

Leanne Berghuis
Leanne Berghuis5 years ago

This man was treated shockingly!

I love the way Redgie H below puts it!

"Anyone who has an ego so massive that they place their religious opinions above the care of their patients should not be allowed to play god in a medical profession"

Well said!