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Old 03-17-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
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Baby "hostages" as collateral

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Sto...733041,00.html

Hospital kept new-born baby over unpaid bill

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Friday March 17, 2006
The Guardian

Israel's justice ministry is deciding whether to prosecute a Jerusalem hospital that held a new-born baby for two months as collateral because its mother was unable to pay her bill.

The ministry intervened last week to force the Moqassed hospital in East Jerusalem to give the infant to its mother and is examining whether to charge it with false imprisonment.

The mother, who is an Arab but has not been named, gave birth to triplets prematurely in January. As the children's father is a Palestinian resident of the West Bank, the hospital demanded payment of 10,000 shekels (£1,250) because it said it was not certain of recovering the costs of treating the babies from Israel's national insurance fund even though their mother is a legal resident of Jerusalem.

When the woman said she was unable to pay, the hospital said it would keep one of the three children, a girl, as a "guarantee" until the money was found.

Earlier this month the parents went to the justice ministry. The head of its legal aid office, Eyal Globus, said he investigated their claim and found it to be correct.

"It turned out that things were exactly as the mother said they were; the third baby was being held," he told Haaretz newspaper. "This is not the first time that the hospital has kept babies as hostages for payment of debts."

The ministry ordered the release of the baby and said it would ensure the insurance fund reimbursed the hospital. The hospital declined to comment.

The woman's family told Haaretz that she was turned away from two other Israeli hospitals because she was unable to pay a deposit of about £40,000 before being admitted.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:08 PM   #2
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Private health care at its best.....
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:20 PM   #3
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That is just unbelievable.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by karls77
Private health care at its best.....
It looks like there is a question regarding coverage under the national healthcare plan.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


It looks like there is a question regarding coverage under the national healthcare plan.
Which is even more frightening.
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:10 PM   #6
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I've never heard of holding a *baby* as collateral. Sheesh.
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:29 PM   #7
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You rarely see them in pawn shops...
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:43 PM   #8
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I'll bet the baby is cute.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:31 PM   #9
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This reminds me of the story in 1 Kings 23-28, where King Solomon pretends to plan to cut the baby in half to determine which woman is its rightful mother. The lying woman's worst sin was to see the baby as an instrument for fufilling her own desires, and not a blessing from God to be loved and nurtured by its rightful parents. Looks like these folks didn't learn that lesson.
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:40 PM   #10
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Ugh.
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:01 PM   #11
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2 months is such a long time. The poor woman. I cant imagine what she must have felt. She lost that precious initial bonding time and it will never be recovered. How shameful for this hospital.
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