AIDS victim from Florida dies


SAN FRANCISCO -- An AIDS victim who San Francisco officials say was 'dumped' on the city by Florida authorities has died of complications from the deadly disorder.

A spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital said Thursday that Morgan MacDonald, 27, had died of a heart attack and infection typical of patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.


MacDonald's arrival in the city 16 days ago sparked a verbal war between San Francisco community leaders and Florida state officials. The local leaders claimed MacDonald had been 'dumped' onto the city's health services.

Dr. Mervyn Silverman, public health director, said Shands Teaching Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., had spent $7,000 to get rid of MacDonald and free his bed by flying him Oct. 4 to San Francisco by private jet.

MacDonald arrived in an ambulance at the office of a city-funded private foundation that offers various social services to AIDS victims. He was immediately transferred to San Francisco General.

At the time Silverman said, 'I think it's a dump. I've never seen anything like it before.'

Mayor Dianne Feinstein called the transfer 'outrageous and inhumane' and demanded an investigation by Florida Gov. Robert Graham. The inquiry is under way.


Virginia Hunt, a spokeswoman for Shands hospital, contended that MacDonald was not critically ill when he left Florida. She denied that MacDonald was dumped -- a phrase referring to the shifting of a patient who needs expensive care to another institution.

Ms. Hunt said Shands 'went the extra mile' to find a situation in which MacDonald could receive out-patient care and support services. AIDS primarily strikes homosexuals, and San Francisco has a large gay community.

MacDonald was said to have no family. Before his hospitalization he lived in a religious commune in Vero Beach, Fla. Ms. Hunt said the commune refused to take him back.

MacDonald was accompanied on the private plane by a physician, a social worker and a nurse.

Silverman said earlier the city would bill Florida officials for MacDonald's costs -- over $500 a day.

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