Thursday, October 4, 2012

HIV Infected Woman sues Brooklyn doctor for ‘SAVING’ her life

He likely saved her life — and now she wants him to pay for it.
A Harlem woman who didn’t want to know whether she had HIV is suing the Brooklyn doctor who tested her anyway in 2011 and learned she was infected, thus boosting her chances for survival.
By learning that the 31-year-old woman was infected with the virus that causes AIDS, the doctor gave her the opportunity to get lifesaving treatment more quickly.
But the woman’s Brooklyn Supreme Court suit, which identifies her only as “Jane Doe,” 31, claims that Dr. Pavel Yutsis, 65, and his clinic violated state health laws by failing to obtain her written consent before the HIV test was performed and to provide counseling after the result. She wants unspecified damages for the breach.
“The bottom line is that the law established that someone has the right to make a decision about when and where they’re going to receive this life-altering information,” said her lawyer, Daniel Pepitone.
“[Yutsis] made the decision on his own, and just took that right away from my client.”
The woman had first been referred to Yutsis’ Lifex Medical Care offices in Sheepshead Bay last year, when she suffered a Vitamin B12 deficiency after gastric-bypass surgery.
After several treatments and some blood work, Yutsis told her that her B12 and white-blood-cell levels were low, and “suggested that [the woman] take an HIV test,” the suit said.
The woman “clearly stated that she did not want an HIV test,” the suit said.
She also told Yutsis her surgeon had warned that she might experience vitamin deficiencies after her operation, the suit said.
But during a Sept. 9, 2011, visit, one of Yutsis’ employees told her “she needed to take more blood for testing,’’ which the plaintiff assumed was a vitamin B12 test, according to the court documents.
On Sept. 22, 2011, the woman went for to the clinic a scheduled B12 treatment — and Yutsis “told her that she had tested positive for HIV,” the suit says.
“When he told me that I was positive and threw the paper at me, I just went numb,” the woman said yesterday.
“I would have wanted to hear in a better environment from someone I trusted. I never felt comfortable in that place.”
A woman at Yutsis’ office yesterday said he was unavailable for comment.

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Culled from NYP

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