Bruce Chennell

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Bruce Alwyn Chennell
09 Mar 1948 - 30 Mar 1991
Foggy City Dancers Memorial Panel 1LR (surname on badge is incorrect)


CHENNELL, BRUCE A., Vallejo. Died Mar 30, 1991, aged 43. Graduate of McGill University Faculty of Medicine, Montreal, 1973. Licensed in California in 1974. Dr Chennell was a member of the Solano County Medical Society. [1]


Former Kaiser-Vallejo surgeon dies of AIDS
by Kevin Courtney
Register Staff Writer
A general surgeon who practiced for 12 years at Kaiser's Permanente's Vallejo hospital died of AIDS earlier this year, Kaiser officials confirmed Wednesday.

Dr. Bruce Chennell, who died on March 30 at age 43, quit practicing surgery in September 1989, on the day he tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, hospital officials said.

"Because the risk to patients was virtually nil, we have not notified (Dr. Chennell's) patients," Joan Jackson, Kaiser spokesperson, said today.

But because Kaiser recognizes that many of Chennell's patients will have concerns, the hospital has set up a hotline, she said.

Subscribers who were operated on by Channell can ask for free counseling as well as free HIV testing, Jackson said.

The hotline number is 648-6810.

The recent disclosures that Chennell as well as three other doctors in the Kaiser Permanenete system have died of AIDS come amid a national debate over whether doctors should be required to tell patients that they have been infected by HIV.

Delegates at the American Medical Association meeting on Chicago on Wednesday adopted a resolution supporting HIV testing under certain circumstances but deferred until December a decision on which cases warrant such testing.

"We don;t want people frightened needlessly," Jackson said. "There has not been a documented case of a physician transmitting HIV infection to a patient."

The only documented case of a health care provider passing on the AIDS virus the is the "infamous" case of a Florida dentist who infected five of his patients, Jackson said.

According to Mark Madsen, the California Medical Association;s director of physician education, the Florida dentist transmitted the AID virus through poor sterilization techniques.

Jackson said Chennell conducted surgery wearing mark, gloves and gown - precautions designed to protect both patient and surgeon.[2]


  1. The Western Journal of Medicine, v.155, issue 3 (Sep 1991), p.222
  2. The Napa Valley Register (Napa, CA) Thursday, 27 Jun 1991