Hospital care for alcoholics

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Hospital care for alcoholics

My ex-husband is in ICU at a hospital. He is an alcoholic without insurance and is dealing with a great deal of medical issues from drinking. The hospital wants to discharge straight out of ICU and is saying that there is a state law that hospitals can’t or don’t have to treat alcoholics.

Asked on May 21, 2019 under Malpractice Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Hospitals are never required to treat anyone, other than emergency care (e.g. in the ER or in ther ICU if brought to the ICU from the ER) if there is no insurance or guaranty of payment. Most hospitals do not provide charity care when payment is in issue and are not required to do so. This hospital can decline to keep or treat your husband once he is stable enough for a discharge from the ICU.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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