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Florida hospital defends secretly deporting patient

AP/Miami Herald, July 23, 2009
In July 2009, Martin Memorial Medical Center in South Florida chartered a private plane and sent 37-year-old Luis Jimenez back to Guatemala without telling his relatives in the U.S. or Guatemala, even as his legal guardian sought to stop the move. Now the man's guardian, also his cousin, is suing the hospital for essentially deporting Jimenez, who was an illegal immigrant. The hospital, which spent more than $1.5 million on his care over three years, says Jimenez wanted to go home. Now the president of the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association says hospitals may become even more wary about providing extended care to uninsured immigrants as a result of the case.