A hospital administrator who allegedly denied admission to a dying 11-month-old child whose parents could not pay for emergency treatment was indicted by a grand jury for a misdemeanor.
If convicted on the charge of denial of emergency services, Plains Memorial Hospital Administrator Jack Newson would face a maximum penalty of a $200 fine. A conviction also could be pivotal in any subsequent civil action.
The indictment stemmed from a Dec. 3 incident involving Isidro Aguinaga Jr., who reportedly was suffering from a respiratory infection and dehydration when his parents brought him to the hospital.
Dr. B. D. Murphy, a a hospital staff physician, had examined the child at a public clinic, and prescribed immediate emergency treatment at the hospital.
But the child's parents, Rachel and Isidro Aguinaga, said they were told their son could not be admitted unless they could make a $400 deposit. Newson had denied that allegation saying the Aguinagas -- who do not speak English -- misunderstood.
The Aguinagas eventually left the hospital and drove to a county hospital 30 miles away, where their child was denied admission because the family did not live in the county. The youngster died on the return trip to Dimmitt.