Washington Post (03/10/89), P. B3
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., a 31-year-old
woman with AIDS says personnel at Howard University Hospital restrained
her without medical reason, forced her to lie in her own excrement, and
taunted her during a hospital stay last October. The lawsuit says that
the hospital discriminated against the woman by providing "inferior and
deficient treatment." The staff's fear of catching the disease was in
large part responsible for the mistreatment, the lawsuit says. The
woman's attorneys says "the pattern and practice of unlawful
discrimination against AIDS patients" at the hospital continues.
Hospital director Haynes Rice said the hospital "categorically denies"
any discrimination or mistreatment of the woman, but he declined to
respond to specific charges in the suit. The lawsuit is one of the first
in the country "that will establish that hospitals cannot give
substandard care to AIDS patients. We hope to send a message," said Ruth
Eisenberg of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which is representing the woman.
The suit also alleges that the hospital withheld needed medical services
from the woman, a former drug addict, because of her condition.