Hospital tries to deport woman in critical condition without adequate insurance

This is beyond fucked up on so many levels.

via Feministe

An immigrant woman from Honduras who has very recently awakened from a coma is being threatened with what can effectively be called deportation, because she does not have the insurance needed to cover her medical bills. (Don’t read the comments in these articles unless you want to lose your lunch.) But here is the real kicker: while it would be repulsive and incredibly inhumane to deport an uninsured/under-insured person with a serious medical condition because of their undocumented status, despite the lack of adequate facilities for their care in their nations of citizenship, it isn’t even the case here. Sonia del Cid Iscoa has a current visa and in the U.S. legally.

A fund to help pay for Sonia del Cid Iscoa’s medical care has been set up through Wells Fargo Bank. Please help disseminate this information.

According to The Arizona Republic (of course, this shit has to be happening in Arizona…):

A gravely ill woman at risk of being removed from the country for lack of adequate insurance coverage awoke from a coma Tuesday.

The hospital has been seeking to return her to her native Honduras; her family took the hospital to court.

But on Tuesday, 25 days after she lost consciousness from a complicated birth, Sonia del Cid Iscoa opened her eyes, focused and tried to respond to requests from the hospital staff to sit up, said family lawyer John Curtin.

“It’s pretty amazing. She will still require long-term care, and this may make it easier, but there are still many questions that need to be answered,” Curtin said…Iscoa, 34, has a valid visa and has lived in the United States for more than 17 years. She has no family in Honduras.

But St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center sought to have her sent to Honduras when she went into a coma April 20 after giving birth to a daughter about 8 weeks premature. Iscoa has an amended version of Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System coverage that does not cover long-term care, Curtin said. But her family worried that the move would seriously harm her, or, at the very least, prevent her from ever returning to the United States.

Iscoa’s mother, Joaquina del Cid Plasecea, obtained a temporary restraining order to keep her from being moved. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Carey Hyatt also ordered that the family post a $20,000 bond by Tuesday to cover St. Joseph’s costs of postponing the transfer.

However, Curtin said that the hospital gave the family three more days to come up with the money before a hearing Friday.

If the family can prove that Iscoa would suffer irreparable injury by a move, the bond will be refunded and Iscoa will not be transferred. But if Hyatt determines that Iscoa is not in imminent danger by a move, the family will forfeit the bond. […]

Iscoa is legally in the country under temporary protected status. Sharon Rummery, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman, said temporary protected status can be granted to people who are in the United States without valid immigration status when a catastrophe happens in their home country.


Curtin said that Iscoa, now the mother of seven children, has been taken out of the intensive-care unit. Iscoa has a brain injury, non-functioning kidneys and is being tube-fed. A neurological assessment has not been done, Curtin said.

To send a woman who is here legally (and was a contributing member to society for 17 years before her health crisis) back to a country where she will not receive the health care she needs to survive is nothing short of government sanctioned murder.  The Honduran hospital they want to send her to doesn’t even have a dialysis unit. 

I’ve had relatives die of kidney failure, and it is gruesome, even with the dialysis and a constant flow of morphine.  Knowing full well that the hospital isn’t equipped to handle her needs is outright cruel and a spit in the face to the concept of humanitarianism.

Update! Via Feministe

Looks like the hospital is conveniently changing its tune (as Iscoa’s condition has greatly improved).  They’ll no longer try to deport her, although the same can’t be said for the 100 or so other patients they (questionably) deport annually.


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in discrimination, healthcare fuckery, immigration and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hospital tries to deport woman in critical condition without adequate insurance

  1. cf says:

    This is bad. This is really bad.

  2. Daniel says:


    Thanks for the info.

    I saw the previews of this story on En Contexto in L.A. but then I missed the program 😦

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