The University of Maryland Medical Center is under fire after local resident Imamu Baraka filmed a disturbing interaction involving the security staff and a mentally ill patient. Baraka posted a series of videos documenting the incident, as the hospital’s security team rolled the woman onto the street.
They wheeled the patient to the street corner, where they left her. She was wearing nothing but a hospital gown and socks.
Baraka followed the staff who left her in the 37-degree weather, repeatedly asking them what they were doing.
“Y’all are just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes?” he asked them.
“Now, when I say she had no clothes on, she literally had just a hospital gown on — no underwear,” Baraka described in one of his videos. The primary video of the incident was viewed over 2 million times.
When Baraka approached the patient, it was clear that something wasn’t right.
She appeared to have injuries to the face, and couldn’t even respond when Baraka asked if she was OK.
When she started to sway, Baraka held her up and told her to sit down. All she could do is grunt in response.
Baraka guided her to the bus stop, where she was finally able to sit. Eventually, an ambulance came to take the woman back to the hospital — the same one that left her out in the cold.
Although security staff suggested that the woman was being unruly, Baraka — a trained psychotherapist — had a response to that.
“You can’t expect those with mental health issues to be pleasant. Because they’re ill!” he said.
In response to the video, CEO Dr. Mohan Suntha issued an apology. “We feel firmly that we provided adequate medical care to a patient who came to us in need.
“But 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,” Dr. Suntha continued.
“I share the community’s shock and anger with what occurred.”
Although Suntha claims the hospital is taking proper actions to address the issue, they refused to give further information of what became of the patient, citing privacy.
Thankfully, Baraka was there to help make sure this poor woman was admitted back into the hospital and out of the cold that night.
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