Admission and Discharge

  • George J. Annas


This chapter concentrates on the legal problems at the beginning and end of a patient’s hospital stay: admission and discharge. Discharge is sometimes called “release” (for example, “he was treated and released”), but this term makes the hospital seem more like a prison than a medical care setting. Problems seldom occur when the patient’s physician has made formal arrangements in advance for the admission or discharge of the patient. The physician is the critical player in a patient’s admission and discharge from the hospital, generally making all the arrangements for both. But in the absence of a specific agreement between the patient’s physician and the hospital (for example, a patient who seeks admission alone or who wishes to leave before the doctor wants the patient to leave), many legal issues can be relevant. This chapter deals with the most frequently occurring problem areas. For legal issues involved with the admission of an emergency patient, see the preceding chapter.


Supra Note Premature Discharge Medical Judgment Preceding Chapter Medical Care Setting 
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Copyright information

© George J. Annas and the American Civil Liberties Union 1992

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  • George J. Annas

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