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It is inevitable that almost every dentist now has a patient affected by this disease.While dentists may exercise reasonable discretion in selecting patients for their practice, they cannot refuse to treat patients based on their HIV status, just as they may not refuse to treat patients based on race.
A ccording to the American Dental Association Code of Ethics, to deny treatment solely based on a patient’s HIV status is also unreasonable. Abbott case, a dentist claimed he had a right to refuse treatment to a person with HIV because of the infectious risk posed by the patient. While you cannot refuse to treat HIV-positive patients, you may ask patients about their HIV status on the health history form. For new patients, consider asking their HIV status during your initial consultation rather than on the initial health history form.If staff members have concerns about treating a patient with HIV/AIDS, educate them about the efficacy of universal precautions.A doctor is liable for the conduct of employees even if such acts are a violation of office policy.This may lessen concern about discrimination based on a patient’s HIV status.The diagnosis or treatment of any patient, including one with HIV, requires a complete assessment of the patient’s medical condition based on reasonable and informed medical judgments, given the state of medical knowledge at the time.
The easiest way to avoid legal problems is to treat HIV-positive patients just as you treat other patients.