It is the Hospital’s policy to provide medically appropriate treatment without unlawful discrimination based on whether a patient has a disability, is regarded as having a disability, or has an infectious disease that may not be regarded as a disability. Infectious diseases may include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, multidrug resistant tuberculosis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). For example, a physician may not refuse to perform surgery or another procedure or discourage surgery or another procedure for a patient merely because the patient has HIV or AIDS. A physician, however, may make a reasonable medical determination, based on current medical knowledge, that a patient’s illness and current medical condition makes such a procedure inadvisable for the individual patient. If you believe that you or any patient has been discriminated against because of a disability or infectious disease, please contact the Patient Hotline at 202-715-4195 or the Ethics Committee at 202-715-4676 during regular business hours, or contact us through the page operator at 202-715-4000 at other times. If desired, you also may contact the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights by calling 202-724-1385 and/or you may contact the Department of Justice Disability Rights Section by calling 800-514-0301.
The George Washington University Hospital believes that most patients, their families and caregivers will act with the patient’s best interests in mind. The Ethics Committee Consultation Service can offer help when there is confusion or conflict in dealing with ethical aspects of a patient’s care. Call the Medical Staff Office between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 202-715-4676. During other times, call the hospital page operator at 202-715-4000 and ask for the person on call or for the Ethics Committee to be paged. There is no charge to the patient or to the patient’s insurance for the use of the Ethics Committee consultation service.