Lesley v. Hee Man Chie
In a disappointing decision, the United States Court of Appeals in Boston upheld a US District Court’s ruling that a Leominster, MA obstetrician did not violate disability anti-discrimination laws when he refused to continue care for a pregnant woman after she tested HIV-positive. The Court made its ruling despite both GLAD and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health presenting compelling evidence that there was no medical justification for Dr. Chie’s termination of Ms. Lesley’s care simply on the basis of her HIV-positive status.
It should be noted that the decision applies to an important, but limited type of discrimination lawsuit. It does not alter basic legal protections for people with HIV, nor does it apply to cases with very different factual scenarios than those pointed to by the Court in its decision.