A poor Chattanooga, Tennessee woman was forced to take her dead baby home in a cooler after delivering a son last Thursday, November 10 at 19 weeks that survived briefly and died on Sunday.
Melvina Brown said the morning she woke to horrible cramping and went to the hospital she knew that something was wrong and doubted that her baby would survive.
This was the 22-year old’s third pregnancy loss.
She said while she was still under medication, lucid and fuzzy, nursing staff stuck forms and papers under her nose and gave her conflicting information on what could be done about the remains.
Not sure of her options, she said she told the staff she could not afford to pay to store the baby’s body until she figured out what to do about paying for a burial. She said she scribbled her signature on a form without reading or understanding and the next thing you know, the hospital gave her the body in a cooler to take home.
Brown said she was distraught and livid over the policy which seems pretty cold and is apparently axiomatic to the type of treatment that poor people suffer in some places. The lack of compassion in this case is jarring.
The hospital has said that in cases of live births, county regulations require them to send the body to a funeral home or with the parents to arrange a private burial.
Still Brown said she is upset over the callous policy.
Since the news broke, nationwide, sparking outrage, the hospital has since agreed to keep the baby’s body until Brown and her family can figure our burial details.
“Who gives a body to take home with them. That is unheard of,” Brown’s father told the Times New Press. “I know she wasn’t supposed to bring no dead child home.”
Read more details at The Times New Press.