Settlement requires hospital to improve services.
The University of Vermont Medical Center has settled with the U.S. attorney for Vermont over allegations that the hospital violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to communicate effectively with deaf patients, VTDigger reports.
In one case covered by the settlement, a heart attack patient requested an in-person interpreter, as did the woman’s son, but she was only able to spend 22 minutes signing with a remote interpreter during a three-day hospital stay.
The state Human Rights Commission found the doctor who performed a procedure on the woman could not verify that the woman had given her informed consent.
The settlement follows multiple complaints filed by Vermont Legal Aid with the U.S. Department of Justice or the Vermont Human Rights Commission since 2010.
“It was years of not getting traction before we finally got the hospital to change its policies,” said Barbara Prine, an attorney with Vermont Legal Aid’s Disability Law Project.
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