Looking into patients' rights after patient 'escape' from Mayo Clinic

After this story gained national attention, KIMT wanted to ask people what they would do if they were in the same situation.

Posted: Aug. 14, 2018 10:22 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - A family who claims they were forced to medically kidnap their child from Mayo Clinic is sharing their story to prevent it from happening to anyone else.

Duane and Amber Engebretson say in 2016, neurosurgeons at Mayo Clinic save their daughter Alyssa Gilderhus' life after a blood vessel burst in her brain. However when she was in rehabilitation, her family was not happy with her care.

They say they repeatedly asked for her to be transferred, but claim Mayo refused to let her go.

"All we cared about first of all was obviously was getting Alyssa better," Amber Engebretson, Alyssa's mother, said. "Then when we found out what was happening, our next goal was getting her out of there."

After this story gained national attention, KIMT wanted to ask people what they would do if they were in the same situation and look into the legalities regarding patients' rights in a hospital when it comes to being discharged.

Danielle Bennett and Becky Shequen, both of Lake City, believe people should always have options when it comes to their medical care, and be transferred if they want to.

"You should always have the option to get a second opinion, third opinion, fourth opinion, whatever," Shequen said. "You need to feel confident in your medical choices."

According to Minnesota Patients' Bill of Rights: Patients shall be encouraged and assisted ...to understand and exercise their rights as patients and citizens. Patients may voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination,including threat of discharge.

While some we spoke to say people should have the right to choose, others say where the medical care was matters.

Arnie Roblas' stepson Braydon is no stranger to receiving care at Mayo Clinic. He said doctors at Mayo have removed three tumors from Braydon's brain.

Roblas thinks the fact that the medical advice came from Mayo Clinic makes a difference.

"When you go against medical advice of a powerful facility like this [Mayo]," Roblas said, "sometimes you got to listen because of the fact that you come for the help. Everybody in the world comes here, and there's reasons why they come here. The best of the best is here."

To read Mayo Clinic's response, click here.

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