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Patient Dumping

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 321
  • Category: Illness

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My last article focuses on patient dumping. I actually stumbled upon this subject while researching another topic. Although I have been in healthcare for almost 11 years, I did not know patient dumping occurred. Where I work, the patient is stabilized before they are transferred. Apparently, the state of California has a history of patient dumping among the homeless and the mentally and physically disabled. This particular article examines the case of a 42 year old mentally ill Hispanic paraplegic. A local Los Angeles hospital took him in because the local mission had no beds to accommodate him. Mr. Olvera was left in the hospital’s lobby for several hours before he put on bus and dropped off on Skid Row. Skid Row is an area of Los Angeles that has a high concentration of homeless shelters and mentally ill citizens. Mr. Olvera was not treated for his mental illness and he was not treated for the urinary tract infection.

He was discharged in a soiled hospital gown with a catheter still attached. I was enraged while reading this story. I hate to think we live in a society where a healthcare system would be comfortable with discharging a patient that had been not been treated. While I was researching patient dumping, I found that California has a high number of patient dumping cases. I have never seen any documented cases of patient dumping in Tennessee. The Bible says that whatever we do to the least of these, we do unto Him. That concept is what all healthcare workers should remember. You should treat everybody how you would want to be treated. Healthcare is about helping and healing. The indigent population deserves to be treated humanely also. I do not believe anyone should be treated differently because of their economic status. I also think organizations who practice in this fashion should not be allowed provide care to the public.

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