Three Howard University security guards have been fired after a woman was reportedly dumped from her wheelchair onto a sidewalk near the university hospital and left there.
Two security guards and the supervisor who told them to remove the woman were fired after a May 17 video surfaced and was broadcast by ABC7 News.
"It’s horrifying to see what happened to this particular patient. And I could never condone that as a practicing physician or as someone who’s very concerned about what happens to patients or people in our community," Hospital spokeswoman Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett told the station.
The unidentified woman had allegedly been brought to the hospital by ambulance, then refused treatment when she arrived, according to the International Business Times. Officers were called in to calm her, then when she still refused, she was discharged and the guards were told to take her out of the hospital, according to campus officers union president Gabriel Adegoke, IBT reported.
Even with the woman’s agitation, however, the officers broke protocol when they dumped her on the sidewalk and threw her bag down at her. The woman was motionless as the guards left her location. "We try and treat every patient with respect and dignity," McDonald-Pinkett said, according to IBT.
In a statement to ABC7, the University said that it "has worked diligently and swiftly to investigate this matter. … We are continuing with our training efforts to ensure this never happens again."
Howard University Hospital has been criticized in recent months, with The Washington Post reporting in March that the hospital has paid over $27 million in malpractice and wrongful death settlements to patient since 2007.
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