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[Correspondence] Hospital detention practices: statement of a global taskforce

Hospital detention practices can be defined as refusal to release living patients after medical discharge is clinically indicated, or refusal to release bodies of deceased patients, when families are unable to pay hospital bills.1–3 Each additional day for which patients are detained adds to their bills, increasingly hindering families’ ability to obtain patients’ release.2 Patients are sometimes detained in hospitals, or bodies detained in mortuaries, for months.1–3 Occasionally, patients are completely left behind in hospitals when families are unable to pay.