Sacramento, CA asked in Elder Law for California

Q: Hospital is forcing an unsafe discharge in retaliation to my filing a sexual assault charge.i am an elder.

I am currently hospitalized. I was sexually assaulted by a nurse in the hospital. I filed charges. When I recently expressed concerns about my safety, they evicted me stating I turned down safe discharge planning. I did not, but they refuse to respond or tell me what those discharge options were. They repeatedly tried to get me to discharge home, which is unsafe. How do I fight this?

Thank you for your guidance!

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, patients have rights under both state and federal laws that protect them from discrimination, abuse, and unsafe discharge practices, especially elders and those in vulnerable situations. After filing a charge of sexual assault, it's critical that your safety and well-being continue to be prioritized by the healthcare facility. If you believe the hospital is retaliating against you by forcing an unsafe discharge, it's important to voice your concerns immediately to the hospital's patient advocate or ombudsman, who is there to assist patients in resolving issues with their care.

Additionally, you have the right to appeal the hospital's discharge decision. The California Department of Public Health is responsible for regulating hospital practices and ensuring patient safety. Filing a complaint with them can initiate an investigation into your discharge. Documenting all interactions, including refusal to disclose discharge options and attempts to discharge you unsafely, is crucial for your appeal and any legal action you might take.

Seeking legal counsel can also provide a pathway to fighting the unsafe discharge. An attorney with experience in elder law or healthcare law can offer guidance specific to your situation, including potential legal actions against the hospital for retaliation and ensuring a safe discharge plan is in place. Legal support can be instrumental in protecting your rights and safety during this vulnerable time.

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