AIDS and Healthcare Workers

730 Words3 Pages
The case of Doctor David Acer and his HIV infected patients reads as a question of ethical and legal dilemmas as well as a murder mystery. According to authorities, Dr. Acer either knowingly or unknowingly infected five of his patients with the strain of the AIDS virus he himself was infected with (Altman, 1993). Whether or not Dr. Acer was guilty of intentionally infecting his patients is not able to be answered beyond any reasonable doubt, however the ethical questions it presents merit discussion. The family of a deceased victim, Miss Kimberly Bergalis, pushed for laws mandating that healthcare workers be tested for AIDS and required to tell patients of positive results (Altman, 1993). I believe this to be an unfounded and unethical request. I personally believe that healthcare workers should be entitled to the same confidentiality rights as other patients. Requiring health care workers to report HIV status to patients, would effectively end their career and livelihood. Imagine if a healthcare provider contracted HIV while treating an infected patient. The time, money, and hard work put into obtaining that career would be all for nothing. If the workers had to tell patients that they had HIV, they would have to tell the employer, and would never get hired. Would it be fair for providers to have the option to refuse treating patients based on HIV status, to protect healthcare workers? It would be considered unethical, and the proposed sanction call for this question. If a healthcare provider practices proper infection control and abides by the principle of nonmaleficence, then no issues should arise. This is an idealist viewpoint. However, it is supported by journalistic investigations of Lawrence Altman of the New York Times. ... ... middle of paper ... ...igher demand for treatments and in the long run saving thousands of lives; doing minimum harm to help the greatest number of people. It is quite likely he is guilty and foul play was involved, but no evidence supports this. Calling him guilty is on par with the theory that the government injected homosexuals with the HIV virus. If presenting unfounded theories, perhaps the case of Dr. Acer was a creation of the government to further press stigmas about the homosexual community. In any case, it remains an unsolved mystery. References Altman, L. W. (1993, June 6). AIDS and a Dentist's Secret. New York Times. Retrieved from Szekely, J. (1994, April 4). A Case of SEXUAL HOMICIDE? Tuscan Citizen. Retrieved from
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