1 Discrimination of HIV/AIDS
Discrimination of HIV/AIDS-positive people in medical field and in society is morally wrong In the rural area of Nigeria, an AIDS patient cut his hand and, when he went to the closest hospital to bandage it, the doctors kept transferring him from one outpatient department to another medical ward, then to another one because they did not want to get infected from him. He offered them money, and only after long debates, they took the money from him with tongs (Cao 522). This is just one example out of many of discrimination against HIV-positive people. Today in society, there is a big ethical issue question concerning stigma and discrimination of HIV/AIDS patients and their rights and standing in the community. There are many types of discrimination such as discrimination in health care and in the surrounding community. These acts lead to very harsh and dangerous consequences. Discrimination of HIV/AIDS patients in health care field and in society is morally wrong because such unthoughtful actions of people result in negative consequences: HIV-positive people lose important and fair health care and medical check up; a further spreading of the disease happens; and emotional trauma, like depression, is observed.
Discrimination against HIV-positive patients is morally wrong because when medical staff refuses to treat these patients, it results in the first negative consequence such as the loss of health care and regular check up by HIV-positive patients. This first type of stigma occurs due to the lack of information on how the disease spreads. People simply do not know all the facts and use misconceptions to advocate their actions when they act unfairly and do not provide all the medical services to the HIV-positive person, such as not admit the patient, or make them wait 2
longer, or put them in a separate room (Cao 522). A study in Nigeria by Reis and his colleagues show the devastating numbers that support the fact that medical assistance is refused to the AIDS patients, and furthermore, sometimes they are not even admitted to the hospital (Letamo 715). According to the study, out of 1,021 health-care professionals “43% observed others [doctors] refusing a patient with HIV/AIDS admission to hospital” and “[t]wo-thirds [doctors] reported observing other health professionals refusing to care for a patient with HIV/AIDS” (Letamo 715). These numbers give a clear picture of how these patients are neglected and have very little medical attention. Another research was conducted in China concerning the problem of neglect of HIV-positive patients in medical field. The example shows that many of the pregnant HIV-positive women were “asked to leave the hospital … and no doctor wanted to operate on them” (Cao 522). Moreover, these women were in a dangerous medical situation, but because of the misconceptions and discrimination, they were denied any medical help. There are many more examples like that through out the world, but mainly this problem concerning refuse of medical care to AIDS patients happens in poor countries, where there is lack of knowledge and experience. These countries are mainly situated in Africa and Asia. Since the patients with this disease receive little medical attention, they tend to keep it a secret and therefore the disease spreads even more. Discrimination against HIV-positive patients by society is morally wrong because it results in the results consequence, which is the emotional impact such as depression from the stigma on the HIV- positive victims. There are many cases when AIDS victims are ignored, avoided, or isolated by people that surround them. One of the examples is a case from Cao’s research in China, where an HIV-positive villager sat down at a table and people who were sitting there got up and change the tables (521). Another example from the same...
Cited: Cao, Xiaobin, Sheena G. Sullivan, Jie Xu, and Zunyou Wu. “Understanding HIV-Related
Stigma and Discrimination in a “Blameless” Population.” AIDS Education and Prevention 18 (2006): 518 – 528
for AIDS Victims.” Journal of Counseling and Development 64 (March 1986): 472 – 474.
Letamo, Gobopamang. “The Discriminatory Attitudes of Health Workers against People Living
with HIV.” Plos Medicine 2 (Aug 2005): 715 – 716
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