When a Hospital Fires Patient in Need, Who’s Responsible?

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Hospital evicts 800-pound man

Most nurses have met the patient who gets in their own way, makes themselves impossible to help, an endless litany of excuses and rationalizations, how it’s everyone else’s’ fault they don’t get better. What to do?

Sometimes facilities punt: discharge the problem and walk away, temporarily or permanently. Who’s responsible, in the end?

Any thoughts?


  1. Greg. Thanks for raising this important, international issue. It applies more so to the private sector- where businesses can select who to care for.
    More common in nursing homes. In the UK it is referred to as “evictions”. “Fired”- is good.
    Happens often to relatives or friends of patients.
    Often in the UK the patient may be said to lack “mental capacity” so care or treatment can be enforced, their wishes opposed, or relatives banned. There have been several appeals and court cases regarding this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, many facilities lack the resources to take on financially unfavorable cases, and our health insurance system makes for many such cases: the cost of care far exceeds the billing. On the other hand, for-profit facilities think like what they are, always seeking more ways to boost profits for shareholders, their primary mission. Health care becomes an afterthought. I’ve also seen plenty of patients who clearly misuse expensive services for free housing, or do everything they can to prevent their own progress. I see no easy answers applicable across the board.


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