A hospital has apologized after video emerged of a woman being left at a bus stop in nothing but a hospital gown.
An astonishing new video, which can be viewed at the bottom of this post, a woman appears to have been cast out of a hospital and left at a bus stop in Baltimore in freezing cold temperatures while wearing just a hospital gown. An outraged psychotherapist named Imani Baraja witnessed the incident and took video to share online so that the incident could not be swept under the rug or denied outright.
The video was captured just outside the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus. Baraja told news outlets he was furious at seeing the woman treated this way, and he says that the woman has since been reunited with her family and is recovering after the shocking incident.
“She’s doing a lot better. She’s getting the treatment that she needs. She’s in the company of family. This is a good thing now, because now she is getting things she could not get before because of this video,” he said according to a CBS News report.
The mother lashed out at nasty comments about the woman online implying that she was on drugs or was a prostitute, and therefore was not worthy of medical care.
“There are people who are saying that my daughter is a drug addict, my daughter’s a prostitute, that she’s deaf,” the mother told CBS News. “She’s not deaf, not a prostitute, not a drug addict. My daughter has mental illness.”
The hospital issued an apology, saying they take full responsibility for the incident, and that the hospital failed to act with “basic humanity and compassion.”
UMMC issued the following statement on their Facebook page on Jan. 10.
“We share the shock and disappointment of many who have viewed the video showing the discharge of a patient from the Emergency Department of UMMC Midtown the night of January 9. This unfortunate event is not representative of our patient-centered mission.
“While there are many circumstances of this patient’s case that we cannot address publicly, in the end we clearly failed to fulfill our mission with this patient, no matter the circumstances of her case or the quality of the clinical care we provided in the hospital (which is not depicted in the video). We are taking this matter very seriously, conducting a thorough review, and are evaluating the appropriate response, including the possibility of personnel action.”
However, many commenters slammed UMMC for their behavior.
“I have plenty to say about this horrendous act,” wrote Mary Kennedy Behning. “I have written to U of M hospital and I responded on Mr.Imamu Baraka’s site. Fortunately for this patient that he found her and filmed it. He is a psychological counselor who works in the city, and has understanding and cares about human beings.. I wonder how many others would have just passed by this poor woman and done nothing. I watched the live coverage of the hospital administrator’s explanation and I saw it as being “POLITICALLY CORRECT”….not compassionate or apologetic.
“When I did home health nursing, I also saw the after affect of patients being dumped and left to find their own way home,” she continued. “Even tho’ there is a “law” that forbids hospitals to do this, and if discovered, they are fined….it apparently still happens all across the country….there are numerous articles about “dumping patients”.I can not comprehend how any healthcare provider can slip to this level. This was not a mistake, I believe it is a practice that needs to be severely punished and stopped immediately. We should be better than this.”
Added Barbara Zelenka Spink: “I am a proud 1969 diploma grad of an inner city hospital .. Church Home and Hospital School Of Nursing. We regularly fed the homeless and people in the neighborhood breakfast , lunch, and dinner. It was common to walk through the cafeteria and see our friends having a hearty meal. I can’t imagine our hospital treating anyone in this manner. Even if she would have signed out AMA, she should have been dressed in her own clothing or given appropriate clothing to wear. All attempts should have been made to contact her family. It sounds like her mother was asking about her and no one gave her information. It’s truly a sad day indeed when patients are treated with such disrespect.”