Hospital Charges Grieving Mother 'Medical Fee' for Her Dead Baby (VIDEO)

Hospitals are notorious for their poor treatment of women and babies, yet they remain the number one way for most people to give birth. For good reason, of course. If something goes wrong, being in the hospital is often the safest place to be. Still, in recent years, many natural birth advocates and others have been very outspoken about the problems with hospital births.

Besides all of the obvious ones -- doctors on schedules, unnecessary c-sections, staph infections, and more -- there is also the cold, harsh reality of the American health care system and its costs and inability to look at "patients" as people. This is exactly what one mom in Arizona ran into this past year. 

When Melissa Sherman gave birth at 23 weeks, her baby only lived for a few brief minutes, during which time she held her and cried and let her go. A few months later, she received a bill for care for $862. See below:

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No one did anything to try to revive her baby daughter. No one gave her any medical attention, so what cost $862? The kicker is that her insurance had a deal with the hospital where somehow they ended up paying even MORE than $862, which meant Sherman was on the hook for $900.

Obviously even if a person dies, their estate is liable for the medical costs incurred during their stay at the hospital. No one would suggest otherwise. But this is something else.

The baby was here for mere minutes. She lived for such a brief amount of time and was not intubated or placed in an incubator or even touched in any real way that would cost money. And while the hospital has forgiven the bill (once the news became involved), it does not stop the problem.

It speaks to an overall inability to see patients as people with feelings. The hospital said that the bill was not in error. In fact there WERE some expenses incurred by Kaylee. "Hospitals have expenses whether a person lives or dies," they told ABC News.

Of course they do. And we all get that they were in a tough spot. But our health care system is awful enough. Couldn't there be some time spent trying to figure out how to treat patients like the people they are?

In my own life, I am so grateful that I had my babies at a small hospital that is known for valuing women and their decisions and babies. I had a great hospital experience. Even so, I also had easy births with no complications. I would like to think that hospitals and their billing departments are most sensitive to those who lost someone they love, especially a small child.

Until then, hospital birth will always have a bad reputation.

Do you think they should have had to pay?

  

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