A Texas doctor is refusing to treat a Black patient who has a lawsuit against the urologist’s son-in-law and the paraplegic man is claiming racial-discrimination.
39-year-old Dallas resident Derrick Roberts witnessed blood in his urine and contacted local doctors immediately. They all referred him to Dr. Wikoff who specializes in urology. Wikoff, who is located near the man’s Paris, Texas home, accepts the patient’s insurance but is not willing to help the resident.
“He told me he couldn’t see me,” Roberts told KHOU although the doctor had not tested the patient to see “how much blood was in his urine to determine whether or not it was a serious medical issue.”
Roberts continued, “He just got straight to the point and said he couldn’t see me… I was like ‘why?’ And he said due to the lawsuit you have against my son-in-law.”
A lawsuit for racial discrimination was filed against Sanitation Solutions of Paris last year by eight Black employees including Roberts according to the news source. The owner of the company happens to be the urologist’s son-in-law.
A video deposition shows Wikoff testified to refusing the paraplegic man medical care because of the lawsuit and claims it had nothing to do with race.
However, when asked if he had the right to deny a patient based on the color of their skin Wikoff said, “Sure, I can. I can if I so choose for whatever reason. I just say I don’t want to provide you care. I’m fully within my rights to do so… The federal government does not tell me who I can see and who I can’t or who I should see and who I have to. That is not their prerogative.”
However, Robert’s attorney says differently.
“The Civil Rights Act prevents Dr. Wikoff from refusing to treat patients on the basis of race,” said Jay Ellwanger, the patient’s lawyer. “Dr. Wikoff refused to treat Roberts based on a lawsuit he filed to protect himself against racial discrimination, so the correlation is clear.”
The attorney added that Wikoff must be compliant with the federal rules seeing as he receives federally funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
The doctor said that the “blood in a patient’s urine could be serious and become an emergent matter” but is refusing to do anything about it.
Robert tried submitting a complaint to the Texas Medical Board but received a “there is no violation of the standard of care” response to Wikoff’s actions in September of 2017.
“Dr. Wikoff did not establish a doctor-patient relationship with the patient. He declined to evaluate the patient, as is his right to do so, and the patient agreed,” the Board wrote in the letter to Roberts.