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Medical Kidnapping by Mayo Clinic

mayo clinic medical kidnapping

Story at-a-glance -

  • CNN reported on the case of Alyssa Gilderhus' "medical kidnapping" in which the patient is held at the hospital against their will
  • Alyssa's mother, Amber, clashed with some of the care providers, including a social worker and head physician; the situation escalated to the point that the hospital banned Amber from seeing her daughter and increasingly sought to isolate Alyssa from the rest of her family, ultimately trying to gain guardianship
  • Ultimately, after months in what felt like prison, the family broke Alyssa free, only to be chased across the state by police; less than a day later, after a second hospital cleared Alyssa medically, police backed off, stating the family had done nothing illegal
  • The Mayo Clinic blasted CNN's reporting of the story, calling it "inaccurate, incomplete and irresponsible" and citing "highly complex and sensitive family dynamics involved in caring for this patient"
  • Hospitals aren't prisons, and patients have a right to seek care elsewhere or leave the hospital against medical advice, even without signing any paperwork

By Dr. Mercola

Hospitals aren't prisons, and patients have a right to seek care elsewhere or leave the hospital against medical advice, even without signing any paperwork. Yet in more cases than you might expect, patients end up feeling intimidated, threatened or mistreated by hospital staff. In extreme cases, like that of Alyssa Gilderhus, the case escalates to the point of "medical kidnapping," in which the patient is held at the hospital against their will and increasingly isolated from family.


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