Facebook Twitter

WHO FOOTS BILL FOR JAILED WOMAN WHO GAVE BIRTH?

SHARE WHO FOOTS BILL FOR JAILED WOMAN WHO GAVE BIRTH?

Weber County is faced with an expensive dilemma: Who pays the hospital bill for a woman who went into labor while in the County Jail last month?

St. Benedict's Hospital billed the county $1,539.68 for the delivery of Donna L. Spidell's baby, born Aug. 28. In addition, it received an ambulance bill of $193 to transport the expectant mother from the jail to the hospital."There's a question as to who should pay the bill," said County Attorney Reed Richards.

Spidell was arrested Aug. 21 for investigation on charges of drug prescription forgery. Police also discovered she was wanted in Bannock County, Idaho, on a parole violation charge involving a forgery conviction.

A day after the child was born, Spidell pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge in Ogden and was sentenced to parole concurrent with her Idaho sentence.

On Aug. 24, she waived extradition and Idaho authorities were alerted to pick her up, but they declined after learning she had given birth, Richards said.

"There, we had a problem. You can't very well bring a baby back to jail," Richards said.

Bannock County authorities told the Weber jail Spidell could be released. Richards said Spidell agreed to go to Idaho on her own to face charges there.

The division of family services was called to care for the newborn infant.

"It's a growing problem and it's getting more and more serious," Richards said of people seeking major medical treatment after being put in jail.

He said the county is willing to pick up the medical costs for inmates injured in the jail, but county taxpayers should not be obligated to foot bills for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

The jail tries to screen those who may be showing signs of sickness or injury, officials said.

Richards said the county might have no other recourse than to make the payments, but he would like to see hospitals share in the costs.