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VA, local PD investigation?

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Local VA made the news yesterday after a patient was transported via EMS to the facility recently, patient later allegedly walked out (details sketchy), and was later found deceased.  Individual had been reported to PD as a "critical missing" individual.  Interesting comment that I read was that local PD were investing the case and was looking at the facility.  First of all, how many folks have we seen leave an ED without saying they were going to do so (even as in this case he was reported as a critical missing, which I'm not sure the hospital would have necessarily been aware of), and second of all, what jurisdiction does local PD have over a federal facility?  I would assume none.

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The patient went missing and turned up dead.

Makes it an unexplained death, requiring reporting and investigation.. Either by coroner or local police or both.

 

The police have jurisdiction in all homicide cases unless a higher agency ( FBI) takes over claiming federal priority.

 

They may want to be looking at the facility for ensuring patient safety.. Was patient sober and mentally competent? If not, the facility has an obligation to act in the patient's behalf.. Including restraining him from leaving if indicated. If the patient was competent, then he is able to leave without "permission" anytime he desires.. He assumes the consequences of his actions.

 

This is opposed to the local police asking the facility to retain the patient or to call them when treatment is completed so the police can pick him up... Most hospital's try to comply, but in fact the hospital is not a police agency and cannot restrain or hold up any patient whom they have discharged... We medics are not a surrogate police force.

 

So, I think the answer is, if the police are investigating the death, any facility in their "precinct " is subject to their investigation, federal or otherwise.

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Like rcdavis said, unattended death requires investigation. That investigation will focus, in part, on the patient's last known location. In this case, that's a medical facility. Nothing unusual here, really. If local PD shouldn't investigate who should who knows the area? As far as jurisdiction goes, if they don't want to cooperate then a search warrant ends the issue.

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