Arizona Surgeon Who Refused To Operate on HIV-Positive Patient Agrees to Justice Department Settlement
An Arizona surgeon who was accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act after he refused to operate on an HIV-positive patient has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Arizona Republic reports. Mark Bourdon, who sought surgery for the relief of pain in his shoulder, in 2002 filed a lawsuit claiming that Dr. Scott Croft, who is affiliated with the Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists physicians group in Phoenix and Scottsdale, refused to operate on him "because of the risk of HIV exposure and infection to Dr. Croft, his staff and his family." Ron Gallegos, deputy of the civil division of the U.S. Attorney's office, said, "It was the position of the Department of Justice that there was a violation of the ADA. We want to let (physicians) know that this type of discrimination won't be tolerated." Under the DOJ settlement, Croft has agreed to pay $120,000 to Bourdon and $20,000 to the government as part of a consent decree to avoid a lawsuit, according to the Republic. In addition, every medical employee of the physicians group must complete at least three hours of training on the treatment of HIV-positive patients, and the clinic must implement a policy "threatening termination to any employee who refuses treatment based on a patient's HIV status," the Republic reports. Croft has denied any wrongdoing and is not being disciplined or investigated by the state Medical Board. Croft did not return calls for comment on Monday, the Republic reports (Anglen, Arizona Republic, 2/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.