In our current medical system where access to medical care is based on whether you can afford good insurance, hospitals run into problems with having to care for patients who arrive and may not have adequate or even any insurance. Uninsured or under-insured patients put a financial drain on hospitals which cut into the bottom line of profits. If this person is homeless, it becomes problematic on what to do with an uninsured patient. Some ruthless hospital admin have resorted to the act of “patient dumping”, where a hospital will just remove a patient from the hospital and abandon them somewhere on the street.
This latest case in the news shows a guy who captured on his phone a group of Baltimore Hospital staff wheeling a patient out of the building and leaving her at a bus stop in freezing weather wearing only a patient gown. She appears mentally disoriented and unable to respond to the situation.
This is the latest horrific example of what happens in a society that doesn’t have universal health care services, and is heartbreaking on many levels. The easy target would be the security guards who threw her out in that condition, but it’s clear they were ordered to do so by someone in admin. Not that the guards are blameless – following orders to put someone helpless in a life threatening situation should be a criminal offense.
The choice we are going to have to make as a society is if this is the type of system we want- survival of the fittest and those who don’t have the financial means to get help are cast aside and ignored, or something more inclusive and humane?
Trump has stated that his “health plan” will stop people dying in the street, but in reality, he had no specific health plan to offer and left it up to the GOP to craft one, and all they did was attempt to gut the current ACA rather than do anything to fix the problem of the increasing uninsured. Had the good Samaritan not intervened, this women could have surely died from exposure.