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View Full Version : As a patient, can a hospital make me stay?



pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 07:54 PM
What are my rights if a hospital tries to make me stay but I want to leave?

pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 08:05 PM
To be more specific: I volluntarily admitted myself to the hospital for treatment. I was there for 3 days and had pretty much all the treatment I could have gotten. The remainder was food and sleep which I was not getting at the hospital. I decided I could checkmyself out and do the rest at home myself. It took me 13 hours to finally get out of there with one male nurse physically trying to detain me. I didn't want it to come to a "boxing" match, I just wanted to go home and rest. I checked myself in, why can't I check myself out? BTW, is what that male nurse did considered assault and isn't detaining someone against their will against the law?

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 08:08 PM
What kind of hospital? Mental hospital or medical hospital? There are different laws for each.

hheath541
Jan 1, 2010, 08:46 PM
If it's a medical hospital, you should be able to check yourself out AMA (against medical advice). Just tell them you want to check out AMA and to give you the papers to sign.

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 08:48 PM
if it's a medical hospital, you should be able to check yourself out AMA (against medical advice). just tell them you want to check out AMA and to give you the papers to sign.

Exactly, but I'm suspecting it's not a medical hospital.

hheath541
Jan 1, 2010, 08:57 PM
I get that impression, too. It's just the 3 days that threw me off. I'd think there'd be more than just 3 days of treatment if it was a mental hospital.

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 08:59 PM
Three days is the typical for one who checks themselves into a psychiatric hospital. 7 days is the norm for anyone who is checked in involuntarily.

pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 09:25 PM
Thanks for answering so soon. It is a normal medical hospital.

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 09:26 PM
May I ask what you were admitted for? This makes a big difference in my answer here.

pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 09:33 PM
I have had pancreatic issues for about 10 years now. Classified as chronic though non-cancerous. Normally the duct gets inflamed and causes pain. Once the inflammation is over it is rest my body mainly needs which is something I can do just fine at home. I think my main question is, can they legally make me stay?

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 09:38 PM
So you have pancreatitis?

No, they can't legally make you stay. There is paperwork involved with this. It's called checking out AMA (Against Medical Advice).

We will attempt to make our patients stay if the situation warrants it, but we cannot force them to stay.

Alty
Jan 1, 2010, 09:41 PM
I'm not a medical expert nor am I a legal expert. My post is just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

If the hospital doesn't think that you're ready to go home then they will try and make you stay. They are liable if they discharge you and then something happens because you weren't ready.

Yes, you can check yourself out, but you have to sign something saying that you left against their advice and that you're liable if anything should happen once you leave. That was already mentioned.

What isn't clear on your post, or maybe I didn't see it, is whether you were willing to sign an AMA. If you weren't willing to, or tried to leave without signing one, then yes, I can see them physically restraining you because they would be liable.

It can often take a while for the paper work to be made available. From your post it sounds like you were very impatient to leave.

pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 09:42 PM
I tried telling them that but it took 13 hours, one police officer, and a fake social worker for them to give me the AMA to sign.

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 09:47 PM
Many times when you sign out AMA, the hospital is not going to treat you again in the future. So checking out AMA is frowned upon. If something happens to you in the future that facility is not liable to treat you again since you did not listen to medical advice.

Alty
Jan 1, 2010, 09:47 PM
I tried telling them that but it took 13 hours, one police officer, and a fake social worker for them to give me the AMA to sign.

Is there something you're not telling us?

Why would they involve a police officer and a social worker?

Something isn't adding up here.

I can understand it taking time for the paperwork to come through. I can also understand them sending someone in to talk to you, inform you that you're going against their medical recommendations etc. I can't understand why they would involve the police or a social worker unless there's a part of the story that you're leaving out.

pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 09:57 PM
They invloved a hospital police, they invloved what was supposed to be a social worker that wasn't, they tried every deceptive tactic to make me believe it was against the law for me to leave and they they had legal right to keep me there. I was not impatient for the first few hours I waited for the AMA paper to sign. 13 hours I waited total and the male nurse physically pushed me back preventing me from leaving. In my book that is assault even if the law does or does not state it is. I was very rational though I just wanted to leave.

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 09:59 PM
That is assault if the nurse, male OR female, laid his/her hands on you in that manner.

The hospital police aren't actually police, they are simply security guards. There must be more to this if they got security involved.

pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 10:08 PM
There is no more regarding the hospital police. I wasn't being violent nor loud and obnoxious. I was calm and simply stated I wanted to leave, they said the doctor did not say I could leave so I said give me the AMA to sign because I was leaving, they said no you can't, I said watch me and started walking and the male nurse got in front of me and pushed me back saying I can't leave. I am still calm. The only big arguing going on was them. Tell you the truth it all seemed pretty confusing to me for them to make such a big deal of it plus I have had this condition for years now and stay ontop of it. The doctor had left for the evening. And even still, isn't it my right to leave whenever I want regardless?

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 10:14 PM
No, you cannot leave whenever you want "regardless." That is a common misconception.

The doctor/hospital has an obligation to treat you once you are admitted. Simply signing AMA papers is not that easy. We have to take into account your medical and mental capacity prior to agreeing to AMA. If pain meds were given then you are not considered competent to make decisions regarding your care as the meds can interfere with logical thinking.

Again, once a patient checks out AMA, the hospital is no longer liable to treat that patient EVER again. This means that if you show up again in 10 years, the AMA will be on file and the hospital can turn you down for treatment.

There is a lot more to this than just signing a piece of paper.

pawster1
Jan 1, 2010, 10:18 PM
Understandable and Understood. Thanks for your help!

J_9
Jan 1, 2010, 10:20 PM
I'm sorry you had to go through this, but there are procedures we have to follow. It takes time, and if the patient is not willing to wait the time and help us out, it can get hard.

excon
Jan 2, 2010, 07:16 AM
In my book that is assault even if the law does or does not state it is. I was very rational though I just wanted to leave.Hello paw:

It might have been. Call the cops, and then hire a lawyer.

excon

pawster1
Jan 2, 2010, 07:56 AM
I fealt as though I was being held hostage or was in jail having to ask when I can or cannot leave. Being spoken to like a child, being told what to do when and where. Pour pain management. Among a other things. I completely understand the liability issue the hospital has though does it really take 13 hours to get an AMA? Regardless of the time, they can't psychically lay their hands on me or restrain me in any way. Can they? Disgruntled EMT,
~Pawster1

pawster1
Jan 2, 2010, 07:59 AM
This has been a month ago this past Thanksgiving. To still be thinking about the issue means to me there is something wrong with this whole picture.

excon
Jan 2, 2010, 08:06 AM
This has been a month ago this past Thanksgiving. To still be thinking about the issue means to me there is something wrong with this whole picture.Hello again, p:

Apparently, you're a TALKER, and not a DOER. That's cool. We'll TALK all day.

excon

Fr_Chuck
Jan 2, 2010, 08:16 AM
Well it depends if your medical condition requires you to be restrained, we restrain patients every day, arm straps, leg and feet straps, chest straps, we have have straps that have locks on them to keep a patient from standing up and hurting thierself.

In some of our wards, the doors are secured and you need a code to get out the doors.

J_9
Jan 2, 2010, 08:19 AM
well it depends if your medical condition requires you to be restrained, we restrain patients every day, arm straps, leg and feet straps, chest straps, we have have straps that have locks on them to keep a patient from standing up and hurting thierself.


This is with a doctor's order only. Without an order this is assault and battery.

Fr_Chuck
Jan 2, 2010, 08:19 AM
That is assault if the nurse, male OR female, laid his/her hands on you in that manner.

The hospital police aren't actually police, they are simply security guards. There must be more to this if they got security involved.


Depends on the hospital, many of the larger hospitals in Atlanta, the hosital police are "real" police the state issued them the right to have police just like a city or college has the right. Here in atlanta, at least 3 of our hospitals have real police not security guards.

excon
Jan 2, 2010, 08:30 AM
Hello again:

In terms of what they did, In my view, it doesn't matter whether they were REAL cops or just pretend. I have heard of REAL cops overstepping their boundary's. Haven't you?

excon

Fr_Chuck
Jan 2, 2010, 08:36 AM
But I have a lot of issues with the entie story, first a police officer would not have been standing by her door the entire time, why did they not merely just walk out if they were not getting anywhere and really wanted to leave. If this was not "in patient" they were in the ER then,

excon
Jan 2, 2010, 08:51 AM
But I have alot of issues with the entie story, Hello again, Padre:

We're on the same page.

excon

pawster1
Jan 2, 2010, 09:45 AM
But I have alot of issues with the entie story, first a police officer would not have been standing by her door the entire time, why did they not merley just walk out if they were not getting anywhere and really wanted to leave. If this was not "in patient" they were in the ER then,

An officer was called, not standing there the entire time also it was voluntary inpatient not the ER.