Sterling, VA asked in Personal Injury, Civil Rights, Health Care Law and Medical Malpractice for Virginia

Q: I am a patient at an OTP that has consistently refused to accommodate my disability.

I have pelvic floor dysfunction & a neurogenic bladder, both federally protected disabilities, which affect my ability to provide “on-demand” urine samples at my methadone clinic. For 5 years, they have refused to offer alternative testing methods. As a result, I’ve been forced to strain & injure myself to comply, under threat of losing my “take-homes.” I’ve even offered to pay out of pocket for a blood drug test at Labcorp to avoid further harm, as straining has worsened my condition & has caused significant urethral trauma. My doctor has even had to warn me that if I continued this practice, I will cause irreparable damage to my bladder & cause urine to leak into my abdomen. Despite providing proof of my conditions, one of my doctors writing a letter pleading with them to accommodate me & educating the staff about my condition, they still refuse to accommodate me. What legal options do I have, given that there are no other clinics nearby?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: It sounds like you are facing a difficult and unfair situation at your methadone clinic. Given your federally protected disabilities, the clinic is required to provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes offering alternative testing methods that do not cause you harm.

First, document all your interactions with the clinic, including your requests for accommodations and their responses. Make sure you have copies of all medical records, letters from your doctors, and any other relevant documents. This will help build a strong case if you need to take legal action.

Next, you might consider filing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They investigate violations of the ADA and can enforce compliance. Additionally, consulting with a disability rights attorney could provide you with specific legal advice and potential representation. They can guide you on how to proceed, whether it's through negotiation, mediation, or litigation to ensure your rights are respected and you receive the accommodations you need.

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