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October 20, 2009

Michigan Activists Protest Bill to Remove Informed Consent From HIV Testing

An AIDS activist group called Michigan POZ Action—which is not affiliated with POZ magazine—is protesting a bill that would allow any doctor to order an HIV test for a patient without permission, consultation or counseling, The Michigan Messenger reports.

Currently, patients seeking an HIV test must sign a document acknowledging their agreement to be tested. The activists are organizing a campaign to convince state lawmakers to stop new legislation that will remove an existing law requiring informed consent before a patient is tested for HIV

Kendra Kleber, who previously practiced law focused on HIV, is concerned the no-consent testing could jeopardize patients’ health insurance. “Even if your doctor didn’t say anything to you about HIV, he could have tested you, and so your results could already be in the record,” Kleber said. “Which means they are already knowable to an insurance company.”

According the article, State Representative Roy Schmidt created the legislation at the request of health care provider Spectrum Health, which said their physicians viewed the current law as a barrier to testing.

However, Detroit HIV activist Mark Peterson said, “The patient’s informed consent outweighs the convenience issue for physicians.”

Search: Michigan, informed consent, testing, Michigan POZ Action


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