Psych Ward Holds Woman Against Her Will, Bills Her

Christina Schumacher fighting to get out of hospital

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 23, 2014 1:06 PM CST

(Newser) – The day after Christina Schumacher's estranged husband killed the couple's 14-year-old son and then himself on Dec. 18, Schumacher was detained by police and admitted, against her will, to a hospital psychiatric ward. She's still there—and Fletcher Allen Health Care is billing her for the stay. Schumacher went to a previously-scheduled appointment with her psychiatrist on Dec. 19; her doctor had police on standby, and they took her into custody because she refused to admit herself to the hospital. But, she insists to the Burlington Free Press, "I am not ill; I am simply a mother who is grieving the tragic loss of her young son."

A judge heard arguments regarding Schumacher's release yesterday (the issue: whether she's a danger to herself or others; she and her friends say she is not) and will issue a decision soon, the Free Press adds. Schumacher also has a teen daughter. As for the bill, a state representative is on Schumacher's side: "People are billed as if they are there voluntarily. It’s a bill you didn’t ask for and you didn’t want," says Anne Donahue. It's not clear what will happen; a hospital rep says Medicaid sometimes picks up the cost in cases like this.

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