Housing Works AIDS Issues Update interview with Hon. Richard Gottfried, Chair of New York State Assembly Health Committee
Housing Works AIDS Issues Update Interview
Hon. Richard Gottfried, Chair of the New York State Assembly Health Committee
The interview was conducted on Thursday, December 21, after Wednesday's hearing on HIV testing, counseling and informed consent.
Gottfried: Generally, for me, the hearing, confirmed my view that written consent is not an obstacle to increasing appropriate HIV testing.
If repealing written consent increased testing, it would only increase un-consented testing, which I would oppose.
Many witnesses who are directly involved in patient care and HIV testing felt very strongly that the consent and counseling requirement in the law actually helped obtain consent and helped practitioners work better with their patients.
I kept asking witnesses for evidence that the written consent requirement was a real obstacle as opposed to an excuse, and no one had evidence to present.
Update: What do you think are the real obstacles to HIV testing?
Gottfried: I think the real obstacles to HIV testing are practitioners being reluctant to raise the issue and practitioners feeling that they are too busy to raise the issue. They are too overworked to do anything that isn’t immediately on their to-do list for that patient.
These are not easy obstacles to overcome, but repealing the written consent requirement does not help deal with any of the real obstacles. The requirement for written consent affects none of those.
Particularly with the streamlined state form, written consent is, I think, trivial as a time or effort factor. I think written consent is important to safeguard against un-consented testing.
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