If you have watched the news recently, you may have heard about a case in which the University of Maryland hospital was accused of discharging a patient who did not want to be discharged and who was not in a position to be discharged. A news article discussing the situation dated March 20 reports that federal regulators agree with the assessment and believe that the hospital violated patient rights and safety regulations.
The case that brought these issues to light came about when a woman was discovered outside the hospital in the freezing cold. She was only wearing a hospital gown. A local psychotherapist discovered her and called for an ambulance.
The woman was initially hospitalized after she suffered a head injury from falling off a motorcycle. She did receive treatment, but the hospital discharged her. When she resisted discharge, security removed her. This was what many called "patient dumping."
The federal report states that the patient's right to care in a safe setting was violated. It also states that the patient's right to be free from harassment and abuse was violated. Other serious violations also occurred.
It's a tragedy to think that a hospital would discharge a patient who was not even wearing protective clothing. The patient in this case had already suffered a head injury, and without the help of another person, could have suffered from frostbite, gotten into an accident or been lost due to confusion.
Hospitals have a responsibility to treat their patients with respect. If you're hurt because of a negligent hospital's care, you have a right to pursue a claim.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Federal regulators say University of Maryland hospital violated rules in patient dumping case," Andrea K. McDaniels, March 20, 2018