Last month, a judge ruled that a Georgia woman must pay the cost of her physician assistant program because she was suffering from terminal cancer.
The woman, identified as Nita Covington-Walker, has been living with terminal cancer since March.
She was told by her doctor that she could pay for her services with $20,000 of her own money and $1,000 from her state’s Medicaid.
But the judge ruled the money would have to come from her personal account.
The court’s decision was in response to a complaint filed by the Georgia Office of the Medical Examiner and the Georgia Department of Corrections, which said the woman’s Medicaid program didn’t allow her to make a payment of $20 a month, which she had already made.
“The Georgia medical examiner and corrections department have stated that there is no law in Georgia that allows a physician assistant to be paid by the taxpayer,” Judge Kevin Cramer wrote in his ruling.
“That is a clear contradiction of Georgia law.
The law does not allow for the payment of the cost associated with a physician assistants services.”
The Georgia Department in a statement to The Associated Press said the ruling would mean “a significant financial burden” for Nita.
“It’s been a challenge for Nia, who has been in and out of the hospital for months, to make the payments necessary to pay for medical care.
Now, she will have to make additional payments to cover the costs of her care,” the department said.
The Georgia Medical Association called the ruling “a blow to patient care.”
The group is seeking to overturn the ruling and said the government must provide Nita with a new physician assistant.
“This case is a reminder that the Georgia medical system is not designed to provide assistance to people in need of medical care,” said Wayne R. Miller, president of the Georgia Medical Society.