Sunday, June 3, 2012

Man Says Hospital Denied Him HIV Treatment Because of "God's Will"

This past week, an HIV-positive man brought forth a case alleging that the Trinitas Medical Center admitted him last August, but denied his sister visitation rights and denied him lifesaving medical treatment because of his HIV status. According to Joe Simoes, the plaintiff, alleged that Dr. Susan V. Borga was "unfazed" when another patient explained that he had just gotten out of prison after serving time for murder. But her response to Simoes was different. reports:
"Simoes said that he did not work because he planned to go back to school and because of his HIV status. Borga then allegedly asked Simoes how he got HIV, to which he responded, 'I got it from unprotected sex.' The complaint then says that 'Dr. Borga closed the plaintiff's file, put it down and looked at the plaintiff with disgust on her face and asked coldly, "Is that from sex with men?" Simoes says he responded affirmatively and that, immediately after hearing this, Dr. Borga proceeded to exit the room.'" 
After that incident, no nurse or doctor came to see Simoes and he was not given his needed HIV medication. He later learned that Borga had spoken to his personal doctor and allegedly said, "You must be gay, too, if you're his doctor." Then, after asking the doctor if he needed a translator due to his accent, according to the complaint, she said "This is what he gets for going against God's will" and hung up the phone. In all, Simoes missed five days of his medication because of the incident.

This kind of language and activity is, unfortunately, expected from the religious right. Speaking at Calvary Assembly's Awakening 2012 on Friday, Liberty Counsel Vice President Matt Barber said that his cousin, whom he claims to love, was "seduced" by homosexual recruiters and that he is now dying of AIDS because "the wages of sin is death." Last June, Alabama evangelist Damon Thompson preached from Proverbs 10:27, which says that "The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened." After reading the latter half of the verse, he quipped, "It's called AIDS."

Yet while this kind of attitude is something we can, unfortunately, expect from fundamentalists on the religious right, it's not something we should ever expect — or accept — from a medical professional. Are Simoes' allegations about Dr. Borgas true? I certainly hope not.

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