Whenever anyone has a medical emergency and is admitted to a hospital in the United States, they typically expect to still be in the United States when they wake up and begin to recover. However, one man recently went into the hospital and woke up after his deportation to the country he hasn't lived in for 30 years. Anyone in Maryland who is undocumented or has any issues with their citizenship should follow the story of this gentleman, especially if they have any kind of health issues.
The 69-year-old man suffered a stroke and fell into a coma in the hospital. He was both undocumented and uninsured. After 51 days in the hospital, the staff arranged for his transportation and deportation back to Poland. They contend he was under clinical supervision during the incident.
The man awoke in a Polish hospital. A report indicated this kind of practice, known as medical repatriation, is more common than some may think. There are reportedly nearly 600 such cases documented in the last five years, according to an advocacy group for immigrants.
While many people have contacts, next of kin or others who would visit or look out for their well-being if they were hospitalized, without legal documentation or perhaps a living will, it may not stop a deportation such as this. Anytime there may be a health issue that requires an immigrant in Maryland or elsewhere to be admitted to the hospital, knowing the law and the basic facts of deportation is advisable. Emergency situations can't be prevented, but being legally prepared to protect a family member's rights if they are unable to speak for themselves is imperative.
Source: Huffington Post, "Stroke Victim Deported While Unconscious After Hospital Discovers He's Undocumented," Sara Gates, June 26, 2013