Joao Simoes in Elizabeth, New Jersey is suing Trinitas Regional Medical Center, a Catholic hospital, for denying him HIV medications for 5 days “for going against God’s will.”
With HIV it is highly important to take your medications everyday, at the same time if possible, to keep a steady load of medication in your system to prevent the virus from mutating. Miss one day of meds and your 3 pills a day could easily become 15 pills a day.
So can you imagine missing 5 days of medication?
According to Courthouse News Service the actions of Dr. Susan V. Borga, M.D. in August 2011 were completely unethical:
Susan V. Borga, M.D., from the Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry, allegedly approached Simoes while he was confined to the hospital’s mental health wing. Borga is not named as a defendant.
Simoes says Borga was unfazed when another patient told her that he had just gotten out of prison, where he served time for murder. But her reaction was allegedly different when Simoes said that he did not work because he planned to go back to school and because of his HIV status.
Borga then allegedly asked Simoes how he got HIV, to which he responded, “I got it from unprotected sex.”
The complaint then says that “Dr. Borga closed the plaintiff’s file, put it down and looked at plaintiff with disgust on her face and asked, coldly, “Is that from sex with men?”
Simoes says he responded affirmatively and that, “immediately after hearing this, Dr. Borga proceeded to exit the room.”
After this consultation, no nurse or doctor came to see Simoes, even though he told them that he needed to take his HIV medication, according to the complaint.
When the hospital finally permitted Simoes to call his personal physician on the third day of his stay, he learned that the doctor had already spoken with Borga about Simoes’ medication, according to the complaint.
Borga allegedly responded: “You must be gay, too, if you’re his doctor.”
“Additionally, apparently realizing that plaintiff’s doctor had an accent, Dr. Borga exclaimed, ‘What, do you need a translator?’ to which plaintiff’s doctor had again responded that Dr. Borga needed to give plaintiff his HIV medication,” the complaint states.
“Dr. Borga responded to plaintiff’s doctor by stating, ‘This is what he gets for going against God’s will,’ and hung up the phone on plaintiff’s doctor.”
The staff eventually forked over the medicine after Simoe witnessed his sister drop off it off to the nurses station.
Ridiculous. Why would you accept a gay, HIV+ man into your hospital if you only planned to treat him this way?