Can a Hospital Refuse to Treat or Admit?
Mar 22, 2017 - Personal Injury
Hospitals generally have a duty to help those who are injured and suffering. Hospitals that refuse to treat or admit the injured and the ill may be responsible for any further harm. Contact a Doylestown accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC today at 888-777-7098 if you or a loved one was denied treatment by a hospital.
Why Would a Hospital Refuse to Admit or Treat?
Hospitals are not required to treat every patient that seeks medical help. Unfortunately, hospitals operate as businesses. Treating patients – especially the uninsured – is expensive. Therefore, hospitals make business decisions in relation to how (and even if) a patient should be admitted or treated.
Other reasons a hospital may choose not to admit or treat include:
- The facility does not have the appropriate medical staff or equipment to treat the illness or injury.
- The hospital has limited resources and cannot possibly manage all cases that come to it.
- The facility has reason to believe that the patient would be better served at another hospital.
There are, of course, inappropriate reasons that a hospital may deny you treatment. A hospital cannot deny you treatment because of your age, sex, religious affiliation, and certain other characteristics.
You should always seek medical attention if and when you need it. In some instances, hospitals can be held liable for injuries or deaths that result from refusing to admit or treat a patient.
When Can a Hospital be Liable for Injuries Caused by Refusing to Admit or Treat?
There are certain times that a hospital can be liable for injuries caused by refusing to admit or treat a patient. Denial based on a patients protected class (age, sex, religion, etc.) is improper and can open the hospital to liability for injuries suffered by the patient that are a result of the hospital’s denial of services.
A hospital may also be liable for denying admittance or treatment where a patient presents a serious or life threatening illness or injury. For example, a patient who is brought to the hospital after a car accident and who is in critical condition should be admitted or treated. Of course, the hospital is entitled to compensation for the services it provides.
The U.S. government has recognized that patients should not be denied admittance or transferred based solely on financial calculations. Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act to prevent the practice of patient “dumping”. Patient dumping occurs when a hospital transfers a patient – for financial reasons – to another facility; often without consideration for the patient’s medical condition or needs. Contact us immediately if you have been the victim of dumping.
Why is It Important to Have a Personal Injury Attorney Working With Me?
An experienced personal injury attorney can often identify key legal issues that may mean the difference between you receiving the compensation you deserve, or not. At Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC we understand the importance of looking at a case from all angles.
A Doylestown accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC is here to help if you have been injured due to the recklessness of a hospital or other treating facility. Your life and health is more important than money.