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July 31, 2021

Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law

Accommodating Providers with Mental Disabilities in the Age of “The Good Doctor”: Where Hollywood Meets Patient Safety

  • July 31, 2021
  • Jake Theis , Penn State Health and the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

This article’s focus is on a narrow but significant portion of the ADA-protected population: health care workers (HCWs) with mental disabilities. Written primarily from the perspective of a litigator and in-house attorney, this article aims to accomplish the following: First, the prima facie case of an ADA claim, which doubles as a compliance guide for navigating the interactive process, will be analyzed in the context of HCWs with mental disabilities, and an argument will be made as to why the prima facie analysis should be restructured to exclude separate consideration of an accommodation’s reasonableness. Second, several recent cases will be analyzed to determine whether the courts’ hesitance to challenge health care employers’ accommodation decisions regarding mental disabilities has been constrained, expanded, or left alone. Third and finally, an assessment will be made of the benefits and burdens presented by medical examinations of HCWs with mental disabilities

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