‘Enraged’ Broward County Judge Orders Miami-Area AIDS Agency, Hospital to Treat HIV-Positive Man
Broward County, Fla., Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren yesterday ordered Broward General Hospital and Broward House, a not-for-profit AIDS support program, to treat Gary Steinsmith, one of the county's "most influential" gay-rights activists whose mental abilities have deteriorated with the progression of his HIV infection, the Miami Herald reports. The county hospital's psychiatric unit would not treat Steinsmith because he was "not sufficiently mentally ill," while Broward House would not take him because he was "too mentally ill." An "enraged" Lerner-Wren called both programs' actions "absolutely unacceptable" and "inexcusable," and County Commissioner Lori Parrish said that Steinsmith was being turned away from the same social service agencies that he helped support several years ago. Steinsmith had served on the Broward County HIV Health Services Planning Council and the Advisory Board for Persons with Disabilities (Miller, Miami Herald, 11/8). Lerner-Wren ordered Steinsmith sent to Fort Lauderdale Hospital for psychiatric treatment and said she expects Broward House to "step in and provide services" upon his release (Marcus, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.