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Port Jefferson doctor who refused to do biopsy on HIV patient settles

A Port Jefferson doctor has agreed to pay $75,000 and attend discrimination training after refusing to conduct a biopsy on an HIV-positive patient, federal officials said on Wednesday.

The office of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said that Dr. William Sher, an otolaryngologist, settled claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act for canceling the scheduled biopsy with a patient identified only by his initials “J.P.”

Capers said in a news release that the biopsy of a neck growth was called off “minutes before the procedure was to begin,” and three weeks later the growth was found to be cancerous when another doctor performed the biopsy.

Although Sher agreed to pay $75,000 and attend training on the disabilities act and discrimination based on HIV or AIDS status, he did not admit to violating JP’s rights, Capers’ office said. Sher did not immediately respond to a message left at his office.

“The ADA requires that doctors and other health care professionals provide appropriate care and treatment to patients without regard to their HIV status,” Capers said.

Last year, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara sued Advanced Cosmetic Surgery, a plastic surgery practice in Manhattan and Commack for allegedly refusing to treat HIV-positive patients.

That suit is still pending, according to court records.

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