Our healthcare system has been under high scrutiny for some time now as there have been many cases developing that involve hospitals who either fail to provide adequate treatment to a patient or simply provide the wrong type of treatment. Some of these cases end with death while others cause an innocent patient to suffer. While we hear about these cases and read about them in the news, we are now given the opportunity to actually see for ourselves why the healthcare system is constantly questioned.
It all started with a viral video that was uploaded to Facebook.
It was the beginning of January when Imamu Baraka was walking on a street in Baltimore after getting out of work. As he approached the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, he witnessed four security guards escorting a woman out of the hospital with nothing but a gown on and leaving her by the bus stop. Baraka instantly began asking the guards if they were just going to leave her and even followed them back to the hospital entrance questioning their judgment. One did mouth a few words saying that she was medically discharged and that it was “due to the circumstances of what it was.” He stated that this was not OK yet the security guards proceeded on back into the hospital showing no sign of concern.
The woman, who was unable to speak and may have been injured, was now left alone, on the sidewalk at night in Baltimore. Her belongings were placed by a seat at the bus stop and she stood there on the sidewalk, in a daze, clearly in no condition to be outside on her own. Aside from the fact that this woman had no one to come to her rescue, she was left outside in a thin hospital gown, subjected to standing in freezing cold 30-degree weather. While security staff personnel weren’t concerned with the wellbeing of this 22-year-old female, Baraka was and he was determined to get this woman some help.
In the meantime, Baraka convinced the woman with a bloody face and empty eyes to sit down on the bus stop. She was moaning almost as if she was experiencing pain but managed to give Baraka a smile at one point in the conversation. He was able to record several minutes of the encounter until he finally had to call police as no one around had a cell phone he could use. Baraka remained with the woman until police arrived and she was escorted back to the hospital. Her mother had been contacted and it turns out she had been missing for two weeks after suffering from a mental illness. The girl’s mother had no idea where her daughter had been, but immediately recognized her face when she saw the viral video that had been streamed millions of times come across her Facebook page.
Baraka waited a few hours after the girl had been admitted back into the hospital to ensure she wasn’t placed back outside and was later sent to a homeless shelter in a cab. If you visit the Washington Post and watch the video, what you will see is a case of “patient dumping” which is a clear violation of the law. Patients must be released into a safe environment, and under the circumstances she was released, they would hardly be considered safe. Without Baraka’s help, she could have died from the cold, been sexually assaulted by someone who saw her as a target, or she could have wandered somewhere never to be found.
Whether the family of this young girl is going to proceed on with legal action, that isn’t clear, but it is safe to say there is viable evidence to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and maybe even the staff.