published Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Update: Chattanooga hospital sends baby's body home in a cooler

Follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking news
  • photo
    A Chattanooga woman, who mourns the loss of her child over the weekend, says the hospital put her baby's body in a cooler and sent her home.
    Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Officials with Erlanger hospital said the hospital’s nurses sent a dead infant home with his mother in a cooler because state law says they couldn’t keep the fetal remains.

“Erlanger respectfully honors the parents’ decisions during this difficult time in their lives,” said Jennifer Homa, a hospital spokeswoman. “Our policy strictly adheres to state laws when presenting options to the family.”

Melvina Brown, 22, was 19 weeks in her pregnancy when she started to give birth Thursday. The baby survived briefly outside the womb, but then died Sunday. The child was her third pregnancy loss.

Brown signed a release form to take the baby home because she couldn’t afford to send it to a funeral home, but said later she really wasn’t lucid enough to make that decision after the birth.

Babies who die before birth and weigh less than 350 grams can be disposed of by the hospital if that is what the parents choose, Homa said.

But state law has other regulations for live births, she said.

“In the event of a live birth, pathology cannot accept the baby due to state laws and the family may either make arrangements with a licensed funeral director or may choose a private burial adhering to their county regulations,” said Homa.

Charles Brown, Melvina Brown’s father, said the hospital has agreed to keep the baby until they decide how they want to bury the child. Private burials are allowed in Hamilton County as long as the family has a designated burial plot.

Still, Brown said he very upset with the hospital's regulations.

“Who gives a body to take home with them. That is unheard of,” he said. “I know she wasn’t supposed to bring no dead child home.”

In such situations, Homa said, if parents choose to transport the baby’s body themselves, the hospital “will provide them a container for the baby’s body.”

“Disposition of fetal remains is always the decision of the parents,” Homa said.

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

I hope this isn't standard practice, are there other options for grieving parents when it comes to transport of the decease? I don't know so I'm asking if anyone has any insight...

To Mrs. Brown, my condolense and prayers.

November 15, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
Emersization said...

This is clearly degrading treatment!

November 15, 2011 at 9:12 a.m.
hummer said...

My condolense and prayers to the family, I will keep up with this story, I am willing to pay the full cost of burial.

November 15, 2011 at 9:29 a.m.
chatttn said...

Prayers for you Melvina, and for you too hummer. How very thoughtful! I just can't fathom Erlanger, or any other hospital doing this. I agree with Emersization - very degrading to say the least. This is just too horrible for words!

November 15, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

hummer...that is so very kind of you to offer to do that.

My sympathies to Ms. Brown and family.

How on earth this could happen in this day and age is beyond me. Erlanger has some BIG explaning to do over this outrageous act...and TOTAL lack of human decency and Common Sense!

November 15, 2011 at 11:03 a.m.
dbcoop said...

Sorry for the loss. I can not see how a hospital would allow this.

However something is missing here.

Did you not read the article?

“In the event of a live birth, pathology cannot accept the baby due to state laws and the family may either make arrangements with a license funeral director or may choose a private burial adhering to their county regulations,” said Homa.

What was the hospital supposed to do? Maybe pay for the funeral home but if they do that they will have to do for more people. The lady could not afford for funeral home to properly handle the remains. So was this lady alone in the hospital? She said she was not "lucid" enough to make that decision?? Where was the father when this was done? Was he not "lucid" enough to say something?? So they take the baby home in the cooler then call the newspaper?? If she could not afford a funeral home probably not going to be able to afford the hospital bill either.

November 15, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
PaulWilson said...

Really dbcoop?! You think it was a good idea to follow the letter of the regulations? Who in their right mind would do this even though the regulations state what they do? The least the hospital could have done is hold the body of the child until the parents could figure something out. Seriously Erlanger...

November 15, 2011 at 11:36 a.m.
chatttn said...

This article has been added to and changed considerably since my earlier posting. An hour ago it said she had given birth Sunday and now they are saying Thursday??...hmmm. However do I have the same comment but wanted to add or no law, this is just WRONG!

November 15, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.
joepulitzer said...

"Melvina Brown, 22, was 19 weeks in her pregnancy when she started to give birth Thursday. The baby survived briefly outside the womb, but then died Sunday. The child was her third pregnancy loss." - Times

"She and her boyfriend named him Tristan." - Channel 3



November 15, 2011 at 11:45 a.m.
grandmastaj said...

So this woman has a stillbirth and all you can think about is how many the hospital can afford, joepulitzer? As someone whose wife has had trouble conceiving in the past, and is finally on the way to having a healthy baby, all I can say to you is find some common decency and shut up. Of course, your posting history here speaks for your sense of empathy and intelligence.

November 15, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.

@ joepulitzer - I didn't know it was a crime to name you child, alive or deceased. As far as the age thing, it’s none of our business. It disgusts me how monstrous people are with their comments are when the article relates to the poor or ethnic (mainly Hispanic) or people receiving some sort of government assistance even when they aren't at fault for the crime or event. SHAME ON YOU!

November 15, 2011 at 12:21 p.m.
mrredskin said...

she can't afford to have a funeral, but she can afford to have a third attempt at a kid?

November 15, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.
ibshame said...

I commend the Drs. at Erlanger for trying to do what they could to keep her from giving birth before the baby could be viable. However, the staff should have waited until the mother was in a calm state to explain to her what she was signing. You don't hand a distraught person a piece of paper with a lot of legal jargon on it and expect them to understand what it is they are signing at a time like that. It's just common sense. I have never heard of anything like this happening before and I sincerely hope it never happens to anyone else.

November 15, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.
lightkeeper said...

@ dbcoop- although I agree with you on the legal issue, and although it may seem heartless to some that this poor baby and its parents were sent home with it in a cooler, the hospital must follow state law, so if anyone is upset, don't get up set at Erlanger, get upset at the state, I agree with you. What I don't agree with is the statement about being able to pay the hospital bill. There's a time and place for those type of statements, but this is not one of them

November 15, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
cbarney4 said...

This is such a sad story, my prayers to the family of Melvina and to the lost of her child. I can't even imagine trying to make a decision like that after loosing my baby. I think the hospital could have given her the option to keep the baby until she knew what she could do. It is just so sad.

November 15, 2011 at 1:39 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

This is a sad situation. There is probably so much more to this than most everyone realizes. One of the reasons it had to be handled before she went home is that most likely she would not have come back to make other arrangments, so the hospital is left holding the "bag". Sorry for that choice of words. I have worked at that institution for quite some time and have never heard of this happening before. And as a father who has lost a child at Children's, I know that most funeral homes would not have charged her. Just can't say the same for the burial grounds. I only had to pay for the grave plot and the opening and closing of the grave.

November 15, 2011 at 2:08 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

There should be more people like Hummer in the world.

November 15, 2011 at 2:13 p.m.
slewis said...

At least this woman was given the option. When my brother was a still born twenty years ago, my parents weren't given the option of a funeral. They weren't even allowed to hold him. He was born. He was dead. She thinks they cremated him. The hospital staff simply made sure my mom was stable then sent her home.

November 15, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.
Kentucky said...

Well most of the nasty comments have no idea what they are talking about. Tell me WITHOUT looking online how much you think a funeral cost? Most people that haven’t been directly involved in a funeral planning have no idea and assume it’s a high cost. THAT’S why she didn’t think she had enough to bury the baby. She has no idea how much it cost. Furthermore how many people have the money sacked away to bury your children? Of course we should but most don’t. The hospital should have gave her funeral homes and cemeteries that do babies/children for free and low cost. Anybody attacking her or her boyfriend for not be lucid has obviously never lost a 19 weeks baby. I have and that precious baby they had looks just like any other baby just smaller. So they gave her a perfect dead baby to take home and you blame her for being out of her mind? I found out my son had died thru ultrasound then went to the hospital hours later to deliver him. I cannot fathom what it would be like to have no time to comprehend your baby is dead then being asked to sign all those papers. And believe me they are endless. I would never wish what has happened to her or millions of other mothers on anyone but some of you a most need a horrible thing to learn empathy and compassion.

November 15, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
cbarney4 said...

Hummer is a God send to offer to pay. There should be more people like that in the world when it comes to a situation like this. Like most I don't have a lot, struggling paycheck to paycheck.

November 15, 2011 at 2:31 p.m.
deb57 said...

I cannot believe they did this to poor woman. Know one should be made to make that kind of choose, at that time. Would have killed Erlanger to hold on the body for a few days. Just how much room could a child that small take up. SHAME ON THEM.

November 15, 2011 at 2:40 p.m.
flapjack said...

Readers: please keep in mind that this is an article in the Times Free Press. Therefore, you can disregard any information presented here as "facts." They wouldn't know a fact if it hit them square in the forehead.

November 15, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
jacksmom said...

My question would be what did she do with the first 2 loses? I know several funeral homes do offer free or low cost funerals for small children. No matter how many stories are told about this we will never know all the facts.

November 15, 2011 at 3:05 p.m.
ctfpfan08 said...

flapjack, if you don't like this paper than don't read it and stay off the website. Every time you access the website you tell advertisers they should pay for advertising which funds the newspaper you distrust. So, apparently we should disregard anything you say because you're an idiot.

November 15, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.
lt58 said...

dbcoop...couldn't have said it better myself..i dont't know what people think the hospital does with deceased bodies, (they are all stored on ice) and hello this was the choice of the mother. Upset yes but, its not like she had no idea on what was going on before she got all the way home!!!!

November 15, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
bensmom said...

I live in Denver and the local Mt Olivet Cemetery buried our baby girl for free - a priest even held a grave-side memorial service. I imagine that the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Chattanooga offers the same service. Their number is (423) 622-0728.

November 15, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
ex_army65 said...

so why would she get all the way home and then decide this is something that needs to be looked into? Where was Charles Brown when the decision was being made at the hospital that they would be sending the baby home in a cooler with the mom?

November 15, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.
Haiku said...

Isn't there a TN state law that requires the state to pay for the burial of anyone who can't afford it?

Before Ms. Brown continues to experience tragedy after tragedy (isn't this a third miscarriage?) maybe she should seek medical help in trying to determine if there is some medical reason as to why she hasn't been able to carry a baby to full term.

November 15, 2011 at 5:09 p.m.
cole said...

shame on you erlanger, shame on you. does anyone have any contact information on how we can help this woman get a decent respectful burial for her child?

November 15, 2011 at 5:16 p.m.
dbcoop said...

Why would you sign the release, bring the baby home and then take a picture of the cooler and contact the newspaper? If they had handed her a cooler and said here you go there is nothing else we can do for you. Then i can see doing this, however this story just sounds like someone trying to get something from a bad situation.

Not necessarily speaking on this particular lady but in my opinion if you can not afford a child than please do not bring a child into that situation. Use birth control please. It is bad for everyone.

November 15, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.
katenky said...

Look at all those hundreds of thousands of dollars in customer service training hard at work. How about a little compassion? I guess that course was skipped over in the Ritz Carlton training sessions.

November 15, 2011 at 5:44 p.m.
joepulitzer said...

OK, grandmastaj and plsopenurmindb4uspk,since you two are obviously liberal Democrats craving Obamacare, let me use the Idiot's Guide to explain this. On second thought, I don't think it would make a difference.

November 15, 2011 at 5:52 p.m.
andystaab said...

There seems to be something ethically wrong with sending the parent home with a cooler. It's sad that people make moral judgments against the mother and before you know it we have a republicans against the democrats argument. Everyone is so damned sure they're right and ready to attack someone else.

November 15, 2011 at 6:33 p.m.
Petie1106 said...

I just saw this article. Very sad. The lady said the nurses rushed her out and the spokesman for Erlanger said they didn't. Well I'm here to tell you they do. Last year this time I had heart surgery. Was a 2 or 3 day stay I can't remember. None the less first I had to change my own sheets. Mine had blood all over them and I was lucky enough to have extra sheets from the OR. I, myself ended up changing them after they were so bloody I had to do something. Won't get into the details of other things such as no food, but when it came time for me to leave the nurse came to me and told me to let her know when I was leaving that they needed to get the room dewy for next patient. When I was ready o leave in walked to the nurses station and said I was ready. The head nurse was at the desk and my nurse was standing in the hall working on a chart. I told her I was ready and she literally threw up her hand and said "ok, thanks". I was stunned. No offer of a wheel chair to my car and they didn't even make sure I had a driver. While there they had me on blood pressure MEDS and my levels were low. With no concern from the nurse what do you do. I had my car parked across the street at the Health Dept, so I just walked across the street and drove myself home. My stay was a true horror story, not as bad as this lady, but I believe every word she said. I think they rushed her. When I contacted Erlanger it was a brush off. I prayed I would NEVER have to go back. The care was all but non existent. I was at Erlanger 3 times over a 2 year period and the care was the same! NONE! All I had going for me was I have an excellent doctor. My thoughts and prayers go out to this lady for her loss. NO ONE should have to go through this type care.

November 15, 2011 at 6:44 p.m.
Legend said...

Wow! All these horror stories about Erlanger. Erlanger use to be the only top notch hospital in the region. For miles and miles away, people knew of Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

I'm not at all surprised though. I worked there briefly back in the '90s and you could the professionalism and behind the scenes bickering going on way back then.

A neighbor's husband suffered a Stroke a few years back. She recognized the signs right away and drove him herself to Erlanger. She said there were several people, even police officers, standing behind the service desk, but none offered to help her get him from the car into the waiting room. Finally a desk clerk brought a wheelchair outside, but told her she'd have to get him into the wheelchair herself. Given a Stroke victim, paralized with the paralysis spreading by the minute, is like lifting dead weight. When she got him into the waiting room they were left just sitting there for several minutes as the paralysis was getting worse. After loudly insisting and even getting a warning from one of the cops, a Triage nurse finally called her husband's name into the Triage room. After Triage he was finally taken back to a room in emergency, but things still continued on a slow pace. Although, with her untrained eyes, she could see the paralysis continuing to take place. Her husband was in the hospital for two weeks and at Siskin for two more weeks. My neighbor has also worked at several hospitals around the country. She said she'd never witness or experienced such treatment like that. When I worked at Erlanger it was like everyone was walking around either arrogant or with an angry chip on their shoulders all the time. Sad, because Erlanger was once one of the best hospitals around. What happened?

November 15, 2011 at 7:31 p.m.
eae said...

@mrredskin - FYI, it doesn't cost anything (monetarily) to "attempt" to have a third child or a second child or even a first child. Fees are incurred only after the fourth. Also, how do you know that this was her "third attempt" at a child. I betcha she's "attempted" more than 3x to have a child but her success rate has only resulted in 3 pregnancies. Obviously I'm being very sarcastic. Your judgemental, ignorant comment along with many others (dbcoop & joepulitzer, who btw isn't any prize) is really disgusting and sad.

November 15, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.
rhythmco said...

those crying 'outrage' YOU'RE A FRIGGIN IDIOT!!!!

The hospital OFFERED options, they CHOSE CHOSE CHOSE to take the child home!!!!! THEY ADMITTED IT IN THIS ARTICLE.

Don't act like Erlanger is the bad guy and oh so poor pitiful parents. THEY'RE IDIOTS. and if you are too blind to see this then YOU'RE AN IDIOT TOO.

November 15, 2011 at 9:29 p.m.
minddoc said...

What happened at Erlanger is, sadly, reflected in many of the comments posted here. Where have empathy, kindness, and a basic respect for others, gone? I see this happening around the country and the world. But it is the people of our country that I worry about (no wonder we have lost the respect we once held from other nations). For some people to use this format to express their hatred is a sad commentary on both society and the individuals themselves (I have to wonder if you would have the guts to look into the grieving mother's face and say the same things, instead of hiding behind a forum where you are not held accountable....) And to have to bring politics into everything - regardless of which "side" you are on - is simply infantile and pathetic. What a sad reflection of our how self-centered our society has become. Thankfully there are several comments from people who obviously still care (including Hummer) - that gives me some hope that maybe, just maybe, human decency will triumph over petty bickering and an incredible audacity to sit in judgment of others you know nothing about. And the saddest (and scariest) part? The worst offenders will never accept responsibility for their behavior, instead trying to justify the harm their words have caused based on some twisted "logic" that shows they are unable to think for themselves.

November 15, 2011 at 10:01 p.m.
kalei22202 said...

Back to the real issue. This is a family that needs information. Has anyone bothered to reach out to them with that information. I don't have it or I would. I have never had to bury anyone, thankfully. So, can someone please help them with the thing they are really lacking which is information! And Hummer you should contact the newspaper to get in contact with the family.

November 15, 2011 at 10:52 p.m.
minddoc said...

kalei - as someone who reached out to the author of a story in the TFP of a family who experienced a horrendous tragedy, I know that the author can not give out the information of any of the parties in the story. However, you can email the author and give your information and ask that the author pass it along to the individual or family. Thankfully the family chose to respond and I felt blessed to be able to help. For those of you who would like to help, I suggest contacting Ms. Garrett and providing your contact information. Most likely she will pass it along (it helps to be specific with regard to what you are offering to help with) and the family in this situation can choose to respond to whatever they are comfortable with. Hopefully this may encourage those who want to help to follow through - whether in this situation or another one that touches your heart.

November 16, 2011 at 12:15 a.m.
skyditch said...

IN A TEA PRTY WORLD THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN! She would have been sterilized after the first baby. In TEA PARTY WORLD she would not have gained access to the hospital, and the baby would have been born alive, and now she would be facing murder charges! BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR YOU MIGHT JUST GET IT! ITS ALL GOOD TILL THEY POINT THE CANNON AT YOU!

November 16, 2011 at 8:03 a.m.
ex_army65 said...

My question for all the people reading this and getting up in arms, do you really think that Erlanger would expose itself to the negative backlash it would get from this if they did it as its written? This hospital is in some type of negative story in this newspaper every other week and you think they would actually refuse to allow this baby to stay while the mother decided what she was going to do? Didn't they say that they willingly signed a release? 3 days later?

November 16, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.
Petie1106 said...

The purpose of this forum is for people to share. And when we share we learn from others stories. Hopefully the individual or business this forum is about either gets comfort or some strong advice from the public. I shared my experience about Erlanger and it wasn't very good at all. Erlanger definitely needs lo take a closer look at itself. I had heart surgery, I was on lots of new MEDS and pain MEDS, yet they DID NOT offer me assistance to my vehicle and I drove home myself. This was just the icing on the cake when it came to my treatment there. It was AWFUL. During the summer I burned my hand severely and had to go to the hospital. I drove myself to Dalton, no way in was going to Erlanger. I was in a lot of pain, but Hamilton Medical Center would not give me anything for pain until they knew I had a driver. Erlanger didn't care if I had a driver or not.

Why am I telling this? Perhaps enough people with bad experiences with Erlanger will post and they will get read by Quality Control at Erlanger. And perhaps, just perhaps Erlanger will look at themselves and make some changes. During my 3 stays there, I could not get food, sheets changed and they just could not get my medications right. Yes,all three times. At one point I even slept on the love seat due to having bloody sheets and not being able to get them changed. Hopefully I will NEVER had to go back there. This baby's body should have remained at Erlanger for many reasons. So many reasons it's unreal. I can't imagine someone in my family passing and I have to go to my car and move things around to make room for the body. I don't know the law,but I would hope that it says it has to go to a funeral home directly. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with THE MOTHER. I'm sure she was lucid when she left. Someone tell me that you could be in your right mind after giving birth and the baby died. Adults make the worst decisions for a long period of time after the loss of a spouse. Your advised to not sell or make any serious decisions for at least a year. This lady had what, a day, an hour. Sorry, but she is NOT an "idiot". She is a mother who lost her child and her world was crashing in on her. God Bless Her!

November 16, 2011 at 9:24 a.m.
cp6220 said...

So those asking for "empathy," do you expect Erlanger to just break start state laws so easily? So when the state levies a fine because the law was broken and the price of health care goes up because Erlanger needs to offset the loss, how "empathetic" will you feel then? You'll be the same people on here complaining that healthcare is too expensive. Like mrredskin said, she can't afford a funeral but she was going to have the money to pay the hospital bill and raise the child? When your taxes are raised higher and higher because you the taxpayer decided to be "empathetic" towards this woman and supported her through what would likely be government assistance, don't come complaining about how much the goverment is taking out of your paycheck. You have no one to blame but yourself.

November 16, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.
skyditch said...

I VOTE CP6220 AS Chairman of the new Chattanooga STRERILIZATION/UTHENATION BOARD .Then you can pick who gets to have children, who gets to live, who gets to die, who gets medical treatment, ETC. Think of all the money we would save.The reason health care is so expensive is THE HEALTH CARE COMPANIES, AND THEIR OBSCENE PROFIT.WE need a single payer not for profit system. Very Simple. Having health insurance is just like being a Catholic School Boy, There is sombody between you and the man, and your always being RAPED! Nobody should be Profiting from my good health or the lack of my good health. Yes I will gladly pay taxes to live in a decent and caring society. You and your kind stood up and cheered when we went to IRAQ, Well now the bill has come due, and all you can say now is I AINT PAYIN FOR IT, DONT RAISE MY TAXES! REAL PATRIOTS!

November 16, 2011 at 9:47 a.m.
cp6220 said...

skyditch: Did I ever mention sterilization or euthenasia? People are free to do as they wish, I just have no desire to pay for the negative consequences of someone else's actions. The reason health care is so expensive is not because of obsence profit but because of high overhead costs that health care companies cannot avoid. Doctors must pay incredibly high premiums on malpractice insurance because the tort system goes totally unchecked. That high cost gets passed on to you. Does GE really need to charge X million dollars for machinery that a hospital needs to give effective care to patients? No, but the eqipment is necessary to provide you with complete care so that cost gets passed on to you. Health care corporations are private companies that provide a service. They have to make a profit in order to survive. If people don't like it, then they can drop the insurance. That's how a mixed economy works.

Nice tact with the Catholic joke. It really adds legitimacy to your argument.

Iraq has nothing to do with healthcare or the discussion at hand. I suggest you look up the meaning of "ad hominem."

November 16, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

The cold, uncaring remarks on here are just unbelievable!

Where is your Christian compassion?

November 16, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.
cp6220 said...

eastridge8: Where does compassion enter into the discussion? It is clear what the law calls for and Erlanger followed the law. If they had not followed the law and were fined or prosectued, was this mother going to show compassion for Erlanger and pay that fine herself or perhaps indeminify herself? Of course not.

November 16, 2011 at 11:16 a.m.
skyditch said...

CP6220 Just because FOX NEWS repeats the same lies over and over doesnt make it fact. HEALTH CARE COMPANIES ARE THE OVERHEAD. Explain how you would control the decision for some one to have a child, certainlly we dont want these people running around breading and running up doctors bills, well whats your solution??? Iraq has everything to do with our debt and your whining on TAX BURDENS. As for the Catholic thing , its just an anaology I used so all the Bible thumpers could relate to the point.

Health care companies, their obscene profits, their unbridled relationship with poloticians, the patchwork State Laws, worked up BY THE INDUSTRY ITSELF, Take a look at State Insurance commisioners and their advisory groups ALL INSURANCE INDUSTRY PEOPLE.

I remember When my bills got paid and I could afford coverage. IT COST $15000, A YEAR at my company for a family plan. On $12.00 an hr. Hows that work. WE COULD TAKE HALF THAT MONEY AND PAY IT DIRECTTLY TO THE HOSPITAL EVERY MONTH AND HAVE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE! And I dont know what state law directs a Hospital to stuff a corpse in a cooler and send it home with the family. But I do know there are laws governing ABUSE OF A CORPSE, SEEMS LIKE THAT WOULD BE A PLACE TO START

November 16, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.
Petie1106 said...

So the lady can't afford a funeral, is it less expensive to put it in the morgue until she decides or have an all out investigation by FBI-TBI when the baby is found buried in someones backyard or woods. I'm a white male, but i think there is/was something to do with her race and ability to pay because she was on medicare. Last year Erlanger was one of the top 10 profitable hospitals in the country. Besides what ever happened to the doctors pledge or oath, it's more than money it's about taking care of patients. O, your on Medicare, don't get a band aid! I am willing to bet anyone who has posted anything negative against this lady were they in her shoes their thoughts would be totally different.

November 16, 2011 at 11:44 a.m.
nowfedup said...

There are as many posts provide, some very sick hateful folks out there, and more then a few racists, amusingly so in a "Good Christian community/state" etc. That said of the low life posts, one can only guess at the state of mind of the "MOTHER", probably feeling as bad as any mother over the loss. But to be, as the Right wing/tea klan spin goes, "Citizens of the richest nation on earth formed on Christian principles" blah blah, and have your dead child handed to you in camping cooler (for which E probably charges $75 (anyone know E Prices there/) is a disgrace. Let's not hide behind the "laws" etc, it is simply a disgrace to ALL of us, that something a bit more civil could not be in place to handle such things. I cannot even guess how most would respond to death of child, then the "Transfer" in a cooler. I am sorry but this horror and many of the post display a USA that is getting dumber, meaner and more hateful each day. This was a disgrace to us all. I should hope some "concerned lawyer with a social conscious" takes this and sues E until it goes out of existence. Where is the out rage of all you "good Christians", should she have brought the cooler to a memorial service, where is the out rage, have we become so low this is acceptable? I wonder if she had been well off white women how it would have been handled?

November 16, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.
cp6220 said...

newfedup: So a "concerned lawyer with a social conscious" should "sues E [sic] until it goes out of existence" for following a law created by the State of Tennessee? Did Erlanger create the law that they are obligated to follow?

November 16, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
cp6220 said...

skyditch: If you cannot afford the health care provided by your employer then drop the coverage and go shopping for a different carrier. The beauty of the open market is that there is more than one option to choose from. I'm sure there are plenty of insurers happy to have your business.

Taking you at your word regarding laws concerning the abuse of corpses, the laws of the state are conflicting at best. Why should Erlanger be held accountable for the lack of clarity regarding state laws? They did what the state told them to do if and when this instance presented itself. If you want a change, then call your representative in Nashville.

You simply stating "HEALTH CARE COMPANIES ARE THE OVERHEAD" does not prove your point. You clearly do not understand how the healthcare industry works and the cost structures that are built into it.

As for the lobbying efforts of the industry, the political reality is that there are always going to be influences on government from the private sector. There always has been and there always will be. If some are better at it than others, then so be it.

Iraq is a part of our current debt but it certainly isn't the root cause. Unchecked government spending is. You think it was a good idea to give Solyndra billions of dollars of your tax money? Or perhaps GM was a good investment? I have no problem with the government spending my tax dollars as long as it is done in a prudent manner. What I do have a problem with is when my tax dollars are used to subsidize investments that have little to no ability to produce a return.

I have no control over the decision of someone else to have a child. However, in having that child, they should not expect me to pay for that child through government assistance. Having a child is a large responsbility. If you are not willing to accept that responsbility, then don't have a child. Abstinance, birth control, and abortions are all viable options. I would much rather have the government use my tax dollars to subsidize a prescription for birth control that have to support a child for the rest of their life.

November 16, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.
ex_army65 said...


Where did the charge of racism come from? Is there anything in the article that tells anything about the race of anyone involved? How did you make that assumption from a picture of a cooler?

November 16, 2011 at 4:43 p.m.
ginagirl43 said...

This is another example of people having children that they cannot support. The realities of life are not pleasant sometimes, but who exactly is supposed to keep supporting these people? Us taxpayers, that's who. I think they are out for some publicity, obviously and some money.

November 16, 2011 at 7:22 p.m.
ginagirl43 said...

Go CP620 you have it right on target!

November 16, 2011 at 7:23 p.m.
skyditch said...

cp6220 Some things should not be capitilized on , WE NEED A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM,I am old enough to remember that states used to Mandate that health care companies were to be NON PROFITS.

Remember one day you to will be priced out of the health insurance market to, and then no one will have Health insurance then what. Someday you will be THESE PEOPLE. Ignorance of wich seems to run rampant in TEA PARTY LAND, in no excuse whan it comes to the law, I didnt know there was a SPEED LIMIT , try that see how it goes. If they sent your baby home in a styrofoam cooler you would be outraged.

IF you look at history many important things have been funded by the government. OUR OIL PROBLEM (IT WILL RUN OUT)IS A MAJOR THREAT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY,, EVER HEAR OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT, SPLITTING THE ATOM?? GM ,,HMM Saved the company paid us back,, hmmm Rampant spending Haliburton Iraq Homeland Security DEA THE DRUG WAR(HOW MUCH DO WE SPEND FLY HELICOPTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY LOOKING FOR POT)? THE POST OFFICE DID YOU SAY susidize birth control, BETTER CHECK YOUR TEA PARTY HANDBOOK, THAT WILL GET YOU KICKED OUT! I should let you go its time for your hate feeding from Rush Limbaugh!!

November 17, 2011 at 8:03 a.m.
cp6220 said...

skyditch: Why do you automatically assume I'm part of the Tea Party and listen to Rush Limbaugh? I'm a moderate Democrat who voted for Obama in 2008. I cannot stand Rush Limbaugh. I was not a supporter of the war in Iraq. I do understand that at the time Iraq was a political necessity. The feelings from 9/11 had not worn off, an election was approaching, and people on both sides of the aisle did not want to look weak on national security issues. What's done is done and now we have to salvage the situation we are given and unfortunently Democrats have failed to do that. I had extremely high hopes when Obama came into office after 8 years of Bush but it's been a disappointment.

I agree that important things have been funded by our government. Research and development conducted through government agencies is an important part of our society. However, government should not serve as an investment bank or venture capitalist. Do I want my tax dollars be used to research a cure for HIV/AIDS? Absolutely. Do I want my tax dollars used so that the government can be a shareholder in a corporation? Absolutely not. The former has societal benefits and the latter leads us down the road of crony capitalism and perahps worse. GM did pay the government back but the U.S. Treasury Department still has a 33% shareholder stake. So now the government is acting as an investor and profiting off and directing a company which it also takes taxes from?

I'm not even sure what you are referring to when you say that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to the law. I totally agree. If this happened to me and Erlanger informed me of the law, then I would not be outraged at Erlanger. I would be more disappointed in the creators of the law in Nashville.

Please show me evidence where any type of single payer system or governmet-run healthcare is better than the system that we currently have. Do you see people in the United States heading to Canada, Cuba, Britain, or Venezuela (just a cross-section of those using single-payer systems) for surgery? No, in fact, it is just the opposite. People from those counties come here for surgery because of the high quality of our healthcare system and because of it's ability to get things done quickly. You want to wait a couple years for bypass surgery? Head to Canada.

As for your claim that I will be priced out of healthcare some day I find this very unlikely. A mixed economy will always self-correct. If one carrier's prices are too high, people will moved to a more moderately priced carrier. People will always find ways to create a cheaper product and as a result the market will self-correct. I, unlike you, have the ability to recognize that in our type of economy, there will always be those that lose. It's an unfortunante side effect, but our poorest poor are wealthy compared with the world's poor.

November 17, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.
LibDem said...

At least this young woman was able to achieve closure on television. There's nothing quite like public humiliation to restore one's feeling of well being.

November 17, 2011 at 10:10 a.m.
melis4le said...

i would like to extend my condolences to the family during this very sad time. my daughter gave birth at 15 weeks gestation to my grandson and i would like to say that we were well taken care of by erlanger. they provided her with grief counseling in the hospital and they provided our family with a list of funeral homes in the area that bury babies free of charge for families that can't afford it. i agree with the other posters that have raised the question as to where was her family during this time? i don't think that we are getting the full story.

November 17, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.