Birth, Babies, and Beyond

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting

Homeless Yet Sent Home: A Medical Mistake

Hospitals Should not Discharge the Homeless to Home, says an ER Doc

It sounds like such a simple hospital order. A person gets better and the doctor signs a form to discharge them to home. But what happens when the patient is homeless?

Read this insightful piece from someone on the frontlines, who believes that sending a homeless patient home is as negligent as operating on the wrong side of the body or leaving a sponge inside someone after surgery. “Discharging homeless patients to the streets after hospitalization,” writes Dr. Kelly Doran, an emergency room physician and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at Yale University, should be added to the doctor’s “never” list. As in these things should never happen. She has some ideas about how to fix the system.

 Check out her blog

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Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., is the author of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank.

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