[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[May 29, 1998]
[Page 853]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Withdrawal of Medicare Funding for Ravenswood Hospital in 
Chicago, Illinois
May 29, 1998

    Today my administration informed the president of Ravenswood 
Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, that the 
hospital will lose its Medicare funding on June 21, 1998, unless the 
facility takes steps to ensure that the events that led to the tragic 
death of 15-year-old Christopher Sercye 
are never repeated.
    On May 16, Christopher died of gunshot wounds just 35 feet from 
Ravenswood, where friends had brought the young man for help. There is 
simply no excuse for this. No one should be left untreated just 
footsteps from a hospital entrance. No health care professional should 
turn the other way, and no supervisor should direct an employee not to 
intervene in a medical emergency.
    That is why the Health Care Financing Administration delivered a 
letter today advising Ravenswood Hospital that unless it provides 
credible evidence that its policies have been restructured, it will lose 
all Medicare funding next month. This administration stands ready to 
take the same strong action against any facility that does not assist in 
a medical emergency.
    I am also extremely pleased that the American Hospital Association 
has released new guidelines that advise hospitals to change any policies 
that prevent taking appropriate actions in a medical emergency. We 
cannot reverse this inexplicable tragedy, but we can and must take 
action so that it does not happen again.