Aids death doctor 'posed no risk': Fourth case adds to public fears

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The Independent Online
A HEALTH authority yesterday defended its reasons for not making public the case of a paediatrician who died of an Aids-related illness two years ago.

Sheffield Health Authority insisted that Dr Leonard Taitz, who died in hospital in January 1991, had posed 'no risk whatever' to his patients.

He is the fourth doctor in 11 days to have been identified as having the Aids virus and the case will add to the demands to name doctors with HIV.

In an attempt to calm fears, the Department of Health is reviewing its guidelines on how to cope with health workers with HIV and has instructed regulatory bodies for doctors, dentists and nurses to do the same.

Dr Taitz was a lecturer at Sheffield University and consultant at Sheffield Children's Hospital. When he died, aged 56, obituaries referred to his 'long illness'. Dr Paul Snell, director of public health, said no one had been placed in jeopardy by Dr Taitz's condition. 'He was not involved in any invasive procedures. The public can be totally reassured that there has been no threat to them.'

Earlier this week, Bolton Area Health Authority was forced to disclose the identity of a doctor who died from Aids, while the Welsh Office is investigating why Mid-Glamorgan Health Authority did not disclose for five months that one of its doctors had died of an Aids-related illness. These disclosures followed the announcement by a Kent health authority that a gynaecologist was being treated for an Aids-related illness.