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Questions surround the arrest of a Black man being treated at an Illinois hospital last month. The man left the hospital wearing a hospital gown while hooked up to an intravenous (IV) pump.

Shaquille Dukes, pictured left, told CNN he was diagnosed with double pneumonia 2 weeks ago while on vacation. He said he went to a hospital in Freeport, Ill, on June 8 to be treated for an asthma attack.

The next day, Dukes, his boyfriend, and his brother left the hospital to go for a walk. They were stopped by hospital security as they returned to the hospital.

According to security, Dukes’ boyfriend and brother became belligerent and combative with security, and the police were called. Dukes and his boyfriend were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Dukes claims he is a victim of racial profiling since security accused of him of “stealing” the IV pump he was hooked up to.

Some reports claim Dukes was arrested as he walked through the hospital parking lot. But security guards say he left hospital property and walked across the street without permission.

In video obtained by the Associated Press, a nursing director confirms Dukes did not have permission from his nurse to leave the hospital.

Every hospital has a different policy regarding patients who leave the hospital and/or wander off hospital grounds without permission. Patients have the right to leave their rooms.

But there are clear policies regarding leaving the unit and length of time off the unit. Those policies are communicated to patients upon admission. Some patients ask for permission to leave the unit/floor to visit the cafeteria, gift shop, or to go outside to smoke a cigarette.

According to Patient Safety Network, at least one hospital allows patients to leave the floor for one hour. If a patient is gone longer than one hour, he is officially discharged from the hospital against medical advice. If the patient has hospital equipment with him, the equipment is considered to be stolen.

The policy is clearly explained to the patient and the patient is assessed to establish whether he is alert and oriented, competent and capable of understanding the risks involved if he leaves the hospital against medical advice.

Such policies are in place to protect the hospitals from liability.



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