On Bankrupting Hospitals, Redux
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About a year ago, I had a blog entry ("They Just Come Here To Bankrupt Hospitals") that mentioned the case of an illegal alien from Guatemala who had racked up $1.5 million in unreimbursed costs at Martin Memorial Medical Center in Stuart, FL. To avoid running the meter on their burden even further, the hospital had pulled off a do-it-yourself deportation, landing 37-year-old patient Luis Jimenez, badly brain-damaged from his original car accident, back in his mother's remote village in Guatemala.

Now (Fla. jury mulls hospital deportation case, by Laura Wides-Munoz, July 23, 2009, The Miami Herald) the hospital is defending itself against the predictable lawsuit, brought by the injured man's guardian (and cousin):

The lawsuit seeks nearly $1 million to cover the estimated lifetime costs of his care in Guatemala, as well as damages for the hospital's alleged "false imprisonment" and punitive damages to discourage other medical centers from taking similar action.

Interestingly, the judge in the case furnished the jury with instructions that seem far from definitive:

Before sending them to the jury room Thursday, Martin County Senior Judge James Midelis told jurors that the appeals court had already decided that Jimenez was "unlawfully detained and deprived of liberty." Midelis said the jury's task was to decide whether the hospital's actions were "unreasonable and unwarranted under the circumstances," and whether its actions had in turn caused Jimenez damage.

One can hope that the jury is worldly-wise about what mass immigration, both legal and illegal, is doing to our country and will decide this case accordingly. How about "enough is enough" as a guiding principle!

Also interestingly, reporter Laura Wides-Munoz is listed as an "[Associated Press] Hispanic Affairs Writer," yet she employs the term "illegal immigrant" in her article. This puts her crosswise with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

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