The plaintiffs were a husband and wife who tested positive for HIV in a life insurance...

The plaintiffs were a husband and wife who tested positive for HIV in a life insurance application physical. The independent laboratory reported the HIV status to the insurance company, which sent a notice of rejection to the couple. The insurance company also advised that it would disclose the reason for their rejection to their physician if they so wished. The plaintiffs took no action. Two years later, the wife was diagnosed with AIDS, and on inquiry, she and her husband learned that insurance company records showed the positive HIV result from 2 years earlier. The plaintiffs sued, alleging that the defendants were negligent in failing to tell them they were HIV positive. When the lab reported the plaintiffs' HIV status to the insurer, the results were also reported to the Kansas Department of Health, as required by Kansas law. In its letter denying coverage, the insurance company advised each plaintiff that the applications were denied on the basis of blood results and offered to send the results to the couple's physician upon written authorization, stating: “With your approval, we would be willing to send the results of the blood profile to your physician so that you can discuss the findings with them. Please write the name and address of the physician you want the blood report sent to at the bottom of this letter and return it to me in the enclosed envelope.” The plaintiffs made no inquiry until the wife developed AIDS symptoms in June 2001, at which point they contacted the insurance company and asked it to release the blood test results to their physicians. The company duly complied with the request.2

Does an independent laboratory hired by an insurance company have a duty to disclose the results of blood tests to policy applicants?

What is the difference between the duties of the laboratory and those of the insurance company, if any, and why?

Does it make a difference who hired the person responsible for the blood draw? Why or why not?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Independent laboratory hired by n insurance company has not inform policy applicants about blood test report. HIV positive report is confidential because people with HIV and AIDS face discrimination when other people find out they have HIV. Health care provider or social service provider cannot share HIV test results without written permission. But this laboratory and insurance company should inform government health depatment which keeps the report confidential and keep better track of the epidemic. Life insurance company hired the person responsible for blood draw. TheCompany has to send more intimation to applicant in this crucial situation.

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