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'I Couldn't Believe What I Was Seeing': Baltimore Hospital Bashed for Dumping Patient at Bus Stop

Patient Dumping
Patient Dumping

A 22-year-old woman who was ejected from a Baltimore hospital in the freezing cold is now safe at home with family.

Earlier this week, four uniformed men were caught on tape wheeling the patient out of University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus and leaving her on the sidewalk in the dead of night.  

One good Samaritan, Dr. Imamu Baraka, stepped in when he saw officials dumping the seemingly disoriented woman, who was still dressed in her hospital gown and socks, at a nearby bus stop.

According to weather reports, the temperatures were freezing on that Baltimore street, hitting a low of 25 degrees.

Baraka says he was leaving his practice that evening when he saw what he calls "patient dumping" in action.  

"At first I was shocked," he told The Associated Press. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing. And I move beyond that to the next level from being shocked. I became … irritated and fearful for the young lady. And then I became angry."

He quickly grabbed his cell phone to document the scene.

Baraka, a psychotherapist in the area, says he hopes this unfortunate incident will open up a discussion of mental health in this country.

Relatives of the 22-year-old woman told local news affiliate WBAL that she suffers from schizophrenia.

Dr. Mohan Suntha, the hospital's president and CEO, addressed the wave of outrage from around the country in a news conference Thursday.

He said that while he feels they provided adequate medical care to the woman in question, "where we absolutely failed, and where we own that failure, is in the demonstration of basic humanity and compassion as the patient was being discharged from our organization after receiving that care."

"We do not believe that what occurred Tuesday night in any way defines who we are as an organization," Suntha added. "There has been a lot of conversation since this incident came to light."

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