A video of a barely-clothed woman being placed at a bus stop by hospital workers in Baltimore is now going viral, calling attention to a controversial practice nicknamed “patient dumping." Sparking widespread outrage, the footage has many questioning the hospital's policies.
“So wait, y’all just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes on?” Imamu Baraka, who shot the footage, can be heard asking in the Facebook post, which has since received more than 16,000 reactions and has been shared more than 40,000 times. The video, which has been viewed more than a million times, depicts the woman in a hospital gown — she is barely able to speak and appears to be injured.
"I just witnessed this with my own eyes," writes Baraka in the post. "I had no choice but to give this young lady a voice in this moment. University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus (UMMC) as a Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) student -- may I remind you of the importance of the VISION of your MEDICAL CENTER: 'UMMC will be known for providing high value and compassionate care, improving health in Maryland and beyond, educating future health care leaders and discovering innovative ways to advance medicine worldwide.' You can do better. You must do better."
“This kind of behavior is, I think, both illegal and I’m sure immoral,” said Arthur L. Caplan, founding head of the division of medical ethics at the New York University School of Medicine, to The Washington Post. “You don’t just throw someone out into the street who is impaired and may have injuries. You try to get them to the best place possible, and that’s not the bench in front of the hospital.”
“She was . . . medically discharged,” one of the guards can be heard saying in the video.
“We firmly believe what occurred Tuesday night does not reflect who we are,” said Mohan Suntha, the hospital’s president and chief executive in a conference held to address the situation. “We are trying to understand the points of failure that led to what we witnessed on that video ... I share the community’s shock and anger at what occurred."
A review of the personnel involved with the discharging has begun. Details about the patient's condition and her identity can not be discussed due to issues with patient confidentiality. Officials assert that the woman's ability to pay for treatment had nothing to do with her removal from the hospital's premises.