February 10th, 2011 | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, Health

Portland Adventist Death: "Liability Overrules Human Decency"

Adventist_Medical_Center_-_Portland,_Oregon

WW this afternoon caught up with Portland Police Sgt. Deb Steigleder. She was one of the cops on scene last night when staff at Portland Adventist Medical Center refused to leave the hospital to help a man who died in the parking lot.

Steigleder, who works out of East Precinct, described how officers responded to the scene after the 61-year-old man crashed his car in the parking lot. Cops arrived shortly after midnight.

"He was in cardiac arrest," Steigleder says. "It looked to us like he was trying to get to the hospital."

Officers rushed inside the hospital, but Steigleder says the staff refused to help. The police were told to call an ambulance instead.

"So officers were doing mouth-to-mouth and CPR on this guy with no medical equipment at all," Steigleder says.

The ambulance arrived six minutes later. But the man was already dead.

"Six minutes is just a lifetime," Steigleder says.

Steigleder says firefighters who arrived with the ambulance crew said they've received similar calls from Portland Adventist before.

"So it is apparently [the hospital's] policy," Steigleder says. "I don't understand where liability overrules human decency. I just don't get it."

Judy Leach, spokeswoman for Portland Adventist, has not yet returned a phone message seeking comment.

 
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