The Rights of People Who are HIV Positive: The Authoritative ACLU Guide to the Rights of People Living with HIV Disease and Aids

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First and foremost, HIV disease presents a profound medical problem affecting a person’s health and longevity. Yet health and health care cannot be viewed outside of the social context. We cannot, William B. Rubenstein, Ruth Eisenberg, and Lawrence O. Gostin insist, lose sight of the fact that the questions involved in living with HIV disease are often human rights issues that are negotiated through the legal system. Can a hospital refuse to treat me because I’m infected? Can my insurance company terminate my ...

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Overview

First and foremost, HIV disease presents a profound medical problem affecting a person’s health and longevity. Yet health and health care cannot be viewed outside of the social context. We cannot, William B. Rubenstein, Ruth Eisenberg, and Lawrence O. Gostin insist, lose sight of the fact that the questions involved in living with HIV disease are often human rights issues that are negotiated through the legal system. Can a hospital refuse to treat me because I’m infected? Can my insurance company terminate my coverage? Will the government deport me? Who has a right to know of my health status?

The health policies, practices, and programs generated by the HIV epidemic also give rise to legal questions: Can doctors be forcibly tested and removed from practice if they are infected with HIV? Can hospital patients be required to have HIV tests? What are the responsibilities of a pregnant woman with HIV infection? Do school children have a right to information about HIV disease?

In fact, legal questions affecting HIV-positive people have grown tremendously complex, cutting across multiple areas of life as well as of law. Using the question-and-answer format common to all ACLU handbooks, this book makes clear how to take advantage of the laws designed to secure the rights of people who are HIV positive.

The authors have divided the book into four sections. The first five chapters provide background information about HIV disease and about the public health response to the epidemic. The second five chapters deal with day-to-day issues: health care decisions, private and public insurance, available public benefits, planning in consideration of futureincapacity and death, and issues of HIV within families. The third section considers discrimination against people with HIV in accessing health care, in places of public accommodation, in the workplace, and in the housing market. The book concludes with a look at HIV in schools and prisons and among immigrants and drug users.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Individuals living with HIV experience not only its devastating assault on the body but adverse effects on their employment, finances, relationships, insurance, and housing. Two new books look at the impact of AIDS on all areas of life, with particular attention to legal problems and the rights of those with positive status. Part of a series of ACLU handbooks, The Rights of People Who Are HIV Positive tackles the subject in four parts: the disease itself and the related testing, public health, and confidentiality issues; day-to-day issues involving insurance, family law, and healthcare decision-making; discrimination in housing and work; and AIDS in prisons, schools, as a factor in immigration, and among IV drug users. The topics are broached using a question-and-answer format, and each chapter is documented with citations to source material. The authors do not shrink from complicated or difficult subjects and generally do a fine job of explaining and humanizing the material. Appendixes refer readers to ACLU offices and other agencies offering legal aid to individuals with the disease. HIV Law takes an anecdotal and conversational tone as it works its way through chapters on holding title, guardianship, powers of attorney, creating a living will, social security, discrimination, and viatication of life-insurance policies. There is solid advice here and important coverage of the effects of the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 as well as in-depth discussion of COBRA benefits. The appendixes list AIDS hotlines, Internet sites, agencies, and action groups. HIV Law thoughtfully addresses issues of basic concern to HIV-positive people, while the ACLU book will appeal to anyone conducting research on the legal aspects of living with AIDS. Both books are recommended.Joan Pedzich, Harris, Beach & Wilcox, Rochester, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809319916
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1996
  • Series: ACLU Handbook Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Lexile: 1590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

William B. Rubenstein is a visiting professor at Stanford Law School and a lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Ruth Eisenberg is of counsel to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Harmon, Curran, Gallagher, and Spielberg, where she specializes in disability rights and employment law.

Lawrence O. Gostin is a professor of law and public health and the co-director of the Georgetown/Johns Hopkins University on Law and Public Health.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 Science and Public Health
I HIV Disease 3
II HIV Testing 21
III Confidentiality 40
IV Public Health Measures 55
V Liability for Transmission of HIV 74
Pt. 2 Living With HIV Disease
VI Health Care Decision Making 109
VII Private Insurance 126
VIII Public Benefits 151
IX Planning for Incapacity and Death 187
X Family Law 203
Pt. 3 Discrimination Against People With HIV Disease
XI Discrimination in Access to Health Care 219
XII Discrimination in Public Places 232
XIII Employment Discrimination 244
XIV Housing Discrimination 274
Pt. 4 HIV Disease in Special Settings
XV Schools 291
XVI Prisons 305
XVII Immigration 315
XVIII Injection Drug Use 332
App. A A Brief Bibliography 355
App. B Selected Organizations Providing Legal Assistance to People with HIV Disease 356
App. C National, Regional, and State Offices of the ACLU 369
App. D The Legal System 380
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