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A cold, hard lesson about patient dumping

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A 22-year-old woman with Asperger’s syndrome was seen on a frigid night in January 2018 for a fall-related head injury in the University of Maryland’s emergency department (ED). She resisted discharge, so ED nurses called a security guard, who forcibly wheeled her in only a hospital gown to a nearby bus stop despite her obvious mental impairment. A psychotherapist leaving work witnessed the dumping, recorded it, and called 911. This ED staff violated federal law, and the nurses violated their professional obligations.

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