Joao Simoes, gay and HIV+, is suing Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, NJ for denying him his HIV medications purely “for going against God’s will.” His sister was also denied visitation right.
Enter Dr. Susan V. Borga, M.D., whose actions in August 2011 need no commentary from us. From Courthouse News Service:
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.”
We just can’t with this bitch.
Simoes’ sister returned with her brother’s meds and gave it to the nurses. Still, the nurses did not give their sick and in-need patient treatment! Eventually, the nurses only gave Simoes his medication, because they knew that he had seen his sister give them the medication. This is gravely troubling, since by this time, Simoes had missed five doses. According to the University of California at San Francisco AIDS Research Institute, studies have suggested that a patient can build up drug resistance after missing as little as one in five doses.
Even though Trinitas Regional Medical Center is a Catholic hospital, we sincerely hope that Simoes’ experience is the result of one quack doctor, and not an institution-wide policy to deny treatment based solely on bigotry and religious intolerance.