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Hospital Seeks Eviction Of Patient Who’s Too Fat To Go Home

Hospital turns to courts to force morbidly obese patient to leave

New Hampshire Union Leader – Wentworth-Douglass Hospital [WDH] is taking legal action against a morbidly obese patient.

Administrators are claiming he’s spent weeks hospitalized for no acute medical reason and wants to stay in the Dover hospital until he can undergo weight loss surgery, which could take six to nine months.

“While Mr. Doe expresses that the surgery is his stated goal, he is not compliant with WDH’s care plan for weight loss and instead has been frequently eating take-out or sugary treats,” the civil complaint filed in Strafford County Superior Court said.

The Dover hospital maintains that the 54-year-old’s refusal to leave affects the placement of other patients.

As of late July, Wentworth-Douglass reported that it was at 97% capacity for beds and that could increase as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.

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The man was given a discharge notice on June 23 with a target date of July 3, but remains in the hospital.

The hospital is seeking an injunction that would require the man to cooperate with its efforts to get him released.

It alleges he has been uncooperative with efforts to find him a long-term care or independent living facility because it’s unsafe for him to return to his second-floor apartment due to his weight issues.

The hospital argues that the “harm to the public — individuals who are in need of an acute care but cannot access the same (due) to Mr. Doe’s refusal to leave the hospital — exceeds any harm Mr. Doe may allege,” according to the complaint filed by the hospital’s attorney, Melissa Hanlon of the Concord law firm Sulloway & Hollis, PLLC.

According to the hospital, the man is completing the process to become eligible for bariatric surgery, which requires significant preoperative weight loss, nutrition counseling, educational programming and psychiatric clearance.

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According to the complaint, the man has been bed-bound for the past four years and lives in a second-floor apartment in Somersworth accessible by a narrow staircase … 

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