Abbott v. Bragdon
Federal Reporter, 3d Series 1997; 107: 934-949
Court Decision: 107 Federal Reporter, 3rd Series, 934; 1997 March 5 (date of decision). The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that HIV infection interferes with reproduction and is therefore a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ms. Abbott was a patient of Dr. Bragdon, a dentist. She was HIV positive and asymptomatic. Bragdon refused to fill a cavity in his office for that reason. He offered to treat her within a hospital setting, but at greater cost to her. She brought suit under the ADA alleging that her status as HIV positive was a disability. The First Circuit agreed, finding that being HIV positive had a profound impact upon her ability to engage in intimate sexual activity, gestation, childbirth, child rearing and nurturing familial relations. The Court held that these activities were all major life activities, not lifestyle choices, and that Ms. Abbott was disabled for the purposes of the ADA.
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