This is just pitiful and no excuse!! Definite violation of confidentiality. This type of behavior just IRKS me to the nth degree!!
Also a side note.... as far as the ADA...am I right that if the Dr. office is small and has less than 15 on his staff, do they still have to follow ADA?? I thought that if it was a small practice or business, less than 15 then can get out of following ADA. Am I wrong? Not that I agree with that mind you...but I'm just wondering if that is part of the situation going on with the original poster, or if it's just plain ole stupidity?
I think you are right. But I wonder if the doctor was unethical because refused to see her. And maybe unethical if no "reasonable accomodation" like the ADA for better relationship and communication with a deaf/HoH patient.
Health Care Delivery and and Deaf People: Practice, Problems, and Recommendations for Change (Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Vol 4, 73-110) is a fascinating article I think.
Some quotes from the article: "Recent surveys of practicing physicians have demonstrated an extraordinary level of ignorance about the act (ADA) and the doctor's obligations under this legislation. All of the 165 physicians surveyed at a recent conference "displayed ignorance about their legal obligations under the" act to their deaf clients. -
During their medical education, physicians typically receive training on the pathology of hearing loss and, as a result, tend to medicalize deaf patients in a way that can be interpreted as paternalistic. These perspectives can interfere with the physician's ability to perceive their deaf consumers as healthy and well-adjusted human beings. "Because of their views of Deaf people as 'disabled,' the medical practitioner often deals with them in a condescending manner that betrays their inherent belief that 'deaf and dumb' is not a misnomer." -
During their medical education, few doctors receive training around communication or cultural issues with deaf individuals. Ebert and Heckerling (1995) conducted a survey of 102 internal medicine physicians at one university medical center to examine their understanding of the communication needs of their d/hoh patients. All respondents stated that they needed to spend more time and effort when working with d/hoh patients. Thirty-seven percent believed that writing notes or speechreading offered the best ways to communicate with deaf patients. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they relied on writing notes for their deaf patients more than half of the time. Only 19% regularly employed an interpreter. Remaining physicians used speechreading, gestures, or asked family members to interpret for the patient. In a survey of 165 doctors, the majority stated they had difficulty communicating with and understanding their deaf clients. Finally, in a survey of 87 deaf people, 60% of whom were prelingually deaf, 59% stated they understood their doctor "sometimes" or "not at all." The patients also noted their health care providers often wrote illegibly or wrote notes that were beyond their literacy level. -
The use of a sign language interpreter is often the only way nonsigning individuals can communicate with deaf people. However, health care providers have historically been resistant to the necessity of employing and using these professional, despite the Disability Act and other laws that mandate use of an interpreter under certain situations."
After reading the thread and article I think all deaf/HoH need to know their rights about health care because maybe your doctor doesn't know or care (my dad is a doctor and I like my doctors so I don't mean all doctors are bad). We must protect our health and get good care and respect from doctors.