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Health
Quechan Nation accuses IHS of violating its trust responsibility


The Quechan Nation says the Indian Health Service violated its trust responsibility by potentially exposing tribal members to deadly viruses.

The tribe wants the IHS to pay for independent testing of patients at the Fort Yuma Hospital in Arizona. "Until testing is completed, the tribe and the community will not know the extent of harm, if any, that may have been caused by IHS unsafe practices," the tribe said in a press release posted by KSWT-TV.

The IHS informed the Quechan Nation and the Cocopah Tribe that 48 known patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The Quechan Nation says IHS knew about the problem but waited 15 months to inform the tribes.

"Under federal law, IHS has assumed a trust responsibility to provide competent and safe health care to Native Americans," the tribe said. "That trust has been breached time and time again at Fort Yuma and throughout Indian Country. This is another example of broken promises of the United States Government."

Another IHS facility in Oklahoma has also warned patients about exposure to deadly viruses.

Get the Story:
Quechan Tribe responds to IHS health scare (KSWT-TV 10/7)

Related Stories:
Another IHS clinic concerned about exposure to deadly viruses (10/7)
IHS patients in Arizona potentially exposed to deadly viruses (10/5)