Human Interest


Babies Held as Collateral at Philippine Hospital

February 10, 2008 05:55 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A Manila hospital refused to discharge six infants aged between two and eight months until the parents paid their bills. A judge intervened to have the babies released.

30-Second Summary

The six infants were being held at Chinese General Hospital in Manila, Philippines, as liens against their parents medical bills.

They are between two and eight months old.

After a Philippine television station aired an expose on the babies’ detainment, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the hospital retaliated by transferring the babies from cribs to cartons on the floor.

Judge Cielito Mindaro-Grulla, who presided over the case, stated the babies were "continuously being deprived of the opportunity of being reared by their parents ... without due process of law."

The judge then ordered the infants be released to their parents under the right of habeas corpus. They are expected to be returned to their parents shortly.

In 1873, a New Yorker by the name of Thomas Finnegan had to take similar measures to secure the release of his son, after the matron of his boarding house decided to hold the three-year-old as collateral against Finnegan’s fees.

Headline Link: ‘Court orders hospital to release six "detained" babies’

Related Links: Child held as collateral in 1873

Reference: Habeas corpus


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