Bioethics Blogs

Hospital Seeks Injunction to Evict Patient Who No Longer Needs Treatment

Earlier this month, an Irish hospital sought a court injunction to evict a patient.  

The patient had completed his treatment program, yet refused to leave the hospital.  The hospital provided all the healthcare that it could.  But the patient just would not go. 

The case was scheduled to be heard before Justice Paul Gilligan.  But apparently, the mere threat of the court injunction was sufficient.  The patient agreed to leave after being served with the hospital’s petition.  

There are two special facts to highlight:

1.  The hospital noted that there was a long list of people waiting for the bed.  So, there was a distributive justice rationale for the eviction.  This is an increasingly cited basis for resolving disputes over non-beneficial treatment.  

2.  The hospital and the patient had signed a contract in which the patient agreed to leave after completing a defined treatment program.  Using such contracts prior to admission has been proposed as a means for avoiding non-beneficial treatment disputes.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.