The Facts Behind the Story
A nursing home recently left one of its own residents abandoned at a truck stop and is now facing repercussions. The ill, disabled man was left at the truck stop without his required medicine. He also did not have a form of identification, because he refused to undergo a background check. State health officials have now cited Petersen Health Network for improper nursing care of the resident. The Petersen Health Network has stated that it plans to appeal the citation and believes that it was in full compliance with Illinois nursing home laws.
It appears that the nursing home facility abandoned the man due to his refusal to undergo a criminal background check. The resident, Thomas Hearty, had a felony burglary conviction from 1992. Despite the existence of this conviction on his criminal record, the Petersen Health Network may be in severe violation of federal laws that exist to protect the rights of nursing home residents. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 lists all of the legal rights that nursing home residents have. Residents have the right to receive supervision and the care that they require to survive. When nursing home residents are abandoned, they often suffer from malnutrition and dehydration.
In the present case, Mr. Hearty was found in his wheelchair outside of a restaurant. Mr. Hearty has a history of diabetes and suffering from strokes. He did not have any medications with him, and he was found only with two plastic bags of clothing.
Abandonment of Nursing Home Patients and Neglect
The Petersen Health Network claims that it was only following the direction of the Illinois Department of Public Health in releasing Mr. Hearty from its care. The nursing home claims that it only took Mr. Hearty to the place that he requested to go. The nursing home also states that keeping Mr. Hearty in its custody would have been illegal due to the fact that he had not provided fingerprints for identification purposes. The Petersen Health Network and Lebanon Care Center have not received any fines to date due to the abandonment of Mr. Hearty at the restaurant. They could face a loss of a two-year license for this abandonment.
The way in which Mr. Hearty has relayed the story seems to depart from the perceptions of the Petersen Health Network. Mr. Hearty states that he feels the facility was responsible for his care. He has further stated, “I think they neglected both aspects here,” referring to his care and well being.
Legal Issues Behind Abandonment in Nursing Homes
When a nursing facility abandons a nursing home resident, this is a form of neglect. In the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, residents have certain rights that are outlined in the law. These rights include the right to be free from abuse, mistreatment and neglect. They also have the right to receive the medical and physical needs that they may have. They have the right to be informed in advance of any changes in the care or treatment that is provided to one. Here, it seems that Mr. Hearty’s right to be free from neglect was violated. He was left outside of a restaurant without the basic necessities that he needed to survive. A nursing home lawyer may be able to stand up for the legal rights of Mr. Hearty to help him recover the monetary compensation that he deserves as a result of this neglect.
Seeking Help from Nursing Home Lawyers for Your Case
Nursing home lawyers are available to help those residents who have suffered from neglect or abuse. It is important for residents to speak with a lawyer if they feel that a nursing home has violated their rights under federal law.