Aids Patients Never Treated like Outcasts, Insists Doctor

Article excerpt

Byline: Eva Marie Gibney

A RETIRED doctor has hit back at criticisms over the treatment of Aids victim Vincent Hanley at St James's Hospital.

Irish filmmaker Bill Hughes had claimed that Aids patients were made feel like 'lepers' and 'outcasts' while receiving treatment at the hospital, However, medical oncologist Peter Daly, who treated Mr Hanley, dismissed the suggestion Aids patients were discriminated against.

The retired medic, who worked at St James's, said Aids patients had been treated like any other patient on the same ward.

Last week, Bill Hughes spoke poignantly of the treatment received by his late friend, RTE radio and television presenter Mr Hanley, who was one of the country's first prominent Aidsrelated deaths.

Mr Hanley passed away in St James's Hospital in April 1987, aged just 33.

Radio presenter and TV director Mr Hughes, who was a close friend, and at his hospital bedside, described the neglect and isolation felt by Aids victims whom he said were made to feel like 'lepers' because of the virus.

He recalled how HIV patients were assigned their own utensils while the ward itself was signposted with a Foxford rug that had the word 'quarantine' written on it.

He said: 'Those who had the virus craved human touch and they suddenly felt like outcasts, like lepers. …