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New York Times
Philadelphia Resolves AIDS Bias Complaint

March 22, 1994

The City of Philadelphia, resolving a complaint filed with the Justice Department, has agreed to bar its emergency medical workers from refusing to treat people who have AIDS or the virus that causes the disease.

The city also agreed to develop an AIDS training program that other cities can copy.

The agreement announced today is the first formal Justice Department settlement of an AIDS-discrimination case under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which took effect on Jan. 26, 1992.

The complaint arose from an incident in January 1993 in which a Philadelphia emergency medical technician was accused of refusing to help a man with chest pains after the man, lying on the ground, whispered he was taking A.Z.T., a drug used by AIDS patients.

The complaint said the medical workers had told the man to get on a stretcher himself, even though he was unable to do so. A bystander finally helped him onto the stretcher and placed him in the ambulance, the Justice Department said.

The city agreed to pay the man $10,000 and to give him a written apology. The authorities did not disclose his identity.