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Roseville Doctor Sued for Refusing Care to Child with Cerebral Palsy

Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc. (MPAS) has filed suit against a Roseville doctor who refused to treat a four-year-old boy for a common cold because the boy has cerebral palsy. The lawsuit was filed in Macomb County Circuit Court on Aug. 15 citing violations of the boy’s rights as a person with a disability under the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

“Access to medical care for persons with disabilities, free from discrimination, is an important and critical civil right that must be protected,” said Chris Davis,  MPAS attorney representing the boy and his family.

The mother of the boy took her son to see the Roseville doctor because her health insurance provider assigned the doctor as the boy’s primary care physician. The doctor informed the mother that they would not provide treatment for the boy because he was a “special needs” child and that their office was exempt from treating such patients. The doctor did not examine the boy or provide a referral to another doctor. In Michigan, there is no lawful exemption from the state, Medicaid or any insurance provider that would exempt a doctor from refusing treatment to a person solely based on their disability.

“It’s been a priority of both the Department of Justice and MPAS to protect the right of persons with disabilities to access health care and doctors need to be aware of their responsibilities under the Rehabilitation Act, the American with Disabilities Act and the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act. Hopefully this case will serve to educate other health care providers,” said Mark Cody, Legal Director at MPAS. 

MPAS, the organization designated by the governor to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan, holds assuring equal access to affordable, quality health care as one of their main advocacy platforms.

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Posted on:
August 19, 2013