A cosmetic surgery company’s blanket refusal to perform a breast reduction procedure on three men because they have HIV is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ruled U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.
As The Associated Press reports, the problem arose when Advanced Cosmetic Surgery of New York failed to take into consideration the medical facts of each individual patient to determine whether the surgery could be performed safely.
According to lawyers representing the medical offices, the doctor was not biased against people with HIV but instead claims the patients’ HIV treatment would interfere with the meds used in the breast reduction surgery.
The medical practice violated HIV-related laws because it failed to investigate whether the men’s HIV meds would in fact threaten their health outcomes.
The doctor did not have “unfettered discretion to decide, without any supporting medical evidence, that he can turn away whatever patients he wishes,” wrote lawyers in the court papers.
The judge said that there were no similar HIV-related cases to cite but that there was precedent in a Supreme Court case involving a teacher who had tuberculosis.
New York resident Mark Milano and the U.S. government filed the HIV lawsuit in 2015. A future damages trial will determine whether Milano will receive a financial payment.
Milano’s lawyer said the court “elevated science and fact over fear and prejudice,” reports the AP.
Below is a Facebook post from Milano: