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The questions is good, but of course it depends where you would like to be? For some people it could be a dream, for others a nightmare…
Sixty-nine-year-old Władysław Haniszewski had lived in the U.S. for about 30 years. But when the New Jersey resident fell into a coma he awoke to find himself in his native country of Poland.
Haniszewski fell victim to a growing phenomenon in which uninsured immigrants are deported by U.S. hospitals that do not want to get stuck paying for their treatment.
Supposedly, Haniszewski was placed on a chartered flight while still unconscious, never giving his consent to being shipped to a hospital in a country he had not lived in for decades.
The practice of medical repatriation has reportedly become increasingly common. One immigration advocacy group said that it has documented at least 800 cases of individuals being deported from hospitals without consent over the past six years in at least 15 states. However, the actual number is believed to be much higher because of the significant number of cases that go unreported.
There is an ongoing debate over the legality and morality of medical repatriation. Under U.S. law, hospitals are required to gain patient consent, from either the individual directly or an immediate family member, before having the individual deported. The federal government is not directly involved in the cases and does not pay for the cost of deportation. In April, “Colbert Report” host Stephen Colbert weighed in on the controversy, saying sarcastically, “It’s totally unregulated, so hospitals avoid all the red tape usually involved in shipping the unconscious.”
Haniszewski has reportedly fallen on hard times in recent years. Friends say that he recently lost his apartment and job, and was forced to relocate to a shelter.
The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick is defending its actions, saying it took the necessary precautions before placing Haniszewski on an outbound flight.
Crazy story, but I guess it happens quite a lot!
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)