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April 29, 2009

Northern Ireland Hospital Refuses to Treat HIV-Positive Man

Tony Bell claims the staff at Craigavon Area Hospital in Northern Ireland would not perform an endoscopy on him because he was HIV positive, and he has now received £4,000 (U.S. $5,908) in damages and an apology, BBC News reports. After Bell was denied service, he had an alternative form of examination, which was not completed until four months later.

“The hospital has confirmed to me that they have the facilities and appropriate procedures in place to perform endoscopy on HIV patients, and I believe that they should have followed those procedures in my case and respected my dignity as a patient in their care,” Bell said.

The Southern Health Trust settled in the County Court case under the Disability Discrimination Act and apologized for hurting Bell’s feelings as well as causing him any distress. The organization has also decided to rethink policies that involve servicing HIV-positive patients.

“Thankfully my treatment has now been completed,” Bell said. “But I wouldn’t want other HIV patients to go through a similar experience.”

Search: Northern Ireland, discrimination, endoscopy

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