Fla. Woman Forcibly Removed From Hospital Dies

Barbara Dawson’s death is being investigated by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration and Department of Law Enforcement.

UPDATE: WTXL is reporting that since 2006, police had been summoned by the Calhoun-Liberty Hospital several times in response to disturbances involving Barbara Dawson.

In one instance in 2006, she became upset while a clerk was trying to get guardianship information from her so that the teenager she took to the hospital could be treated. In 2012, police were called because Dawson, who was the patient this time, was being released, but she didn’t think she was healthy enough to do so. In 2013, she became upset with the emergency room doctor who was treating her.

A woman who was handcuffed and removed from a Florida hospital after she refused to leave was pronounced dead at the hospital 90 minutes later.

The death of Barbara Dawson, 57, has sparked investigations by local police and the state’s healthcare agency and has ignited a controversy over what some people have called a wrongful death.

Dawson was taken to Liberty-Calhoun Hospital in Blountstown by ambulance on Dec. 21. She was treated for abdominal pain but became upset with doctors when they discharged her because she didn’t feel she was healthy, according to yahoo.com.

Police officer John Tadlock was called to the scene, and Dawson was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing after refusing to leave.

Officer Tadlock then removed Dawson’s oxygen hose and handcuffed her with the help of a paramedic, according to the police report.

Dawson fell to the ground a foot away from the police cruiser as Tadlock attempted to escort her into the back of his squad car. Tadlock noted in his report that Dawson told him she couldn’t breathe, although medical staff present thought she was okay at the time.

“It was believed by myself that Dawson was just being noncompliant and making herself dead weight in an effort to avoid going to jail,” Tadlock reported. “Myself and medical staff made several attempts to place Dawson in my patrol car to no avail. I continued to ask Dawson to comply with my request and get in the car but Dawson continued to be unresponsive to any commands or request.”

A nurse initially checked Dawson’s vital signs and said she was okay, but later a doctor ordered that Dawson be readmitted for “totally different” symptoms than what she had initially been admitted for.

A medical examiner’s officer later ruled that Dawson had died from a blood clot from being excessively overweight.

The state’s Agency for Health Care Administration and Department of Law Enforcement are investigating to see if any laws were broken.

There is no hospital surveillance footage of the incident and Tadlock’s dash cam didn’t capture any visual evidence, although some audio can be heard.

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