Are Hospitals Healthcare Prisons and Are You a Prisoner?

Lets first define a hospitals:

The word hospital originates from the Latin hospes, meaning guest or stranger. It’s the root of words such as hospice, hostel, hotel, and hospitality. The word patient comes from patior, which is to suffer. … Webster’s defines a hospital as an “institution where the sick or injured are given medical care.”

How many hospitals are in the United States

Total Number of All U.S. Hospitals6,210
Number of U.S. Community  Hospitals5,262
Number of Non-government Not-for-Profit Community Hospitals2,968
Number of Investor-Owned (For-Profit) Community Hospitals1,322
Number of State and Local Government Community Hospitals972
Number of Federal Government Hospitals208
Number of Nonfederal Psychiatric Hospitals620
Other  Hospitals120

Are You a Hospital Prisoner in a Hospital Prison….Consider the following:

Because you are deliberately made to feel powerless:

1. You are in an institution which you are not supposed to leave until told to do so.

2. You are generally (at least in the U.S.) “housed” with one other cellmate – I mean patient – divided only by a curtain affording minimal privacy.

3. Contact with the outside world (e.g., visiting hours) is limited.

4. You are placed on the hospital’s schedule for meals, sleep, etc., and not your own.

5. The number of personal possessions you have at hand is minimal.

6. The food is generally terrible.

7. Unless you’re a doctor or a nurse (as a patient yourself) you generally have little idea what’s going on, even for the most humiliating and/or invasive procedures (interesting side note: doctors generally make the worst patients, and nurses the best, as they are accustomed to following doctor’s orders.)

8. Your clothing has been taken from you (even though it’s been estimated that as many as 80% of in-patients really don’t need to be nude.)  Prison analogy: being told to strip and cavity searched for reasons not given you.

9. The “authorities” are clothed and uniformed, and you most certainly are not.
Doctors (especially) can come and go – like prison guards – to check your chart etc. without even telling you who they are or why they’re there.

8. You’re expected to unquestioningly follow the orders of said uniformed personnel.

9. Even given #8, the unknown and unknowable might happen to you (e.g., women (especially) under anesthesia are often naked – completely uncovered – more often than they think or know, and sedated women are often given unneeded pelvic exams by medical students.)

10. You might die there.



  1. Once you are admitted to a hospital it is hard to leave; Some for medical; some for physiological reasons. Remember you can leave the hospital without medical advice. No one can stop you from getting up and walking around or even out the door, but staff make it very clear you’re expected to lie in the bed and stay there. YOU ARE IN A SEMI PRISON and SEMI PRISONER!
  2. And, because medical staff seem to know so much about what is wrong with you and how to fix it, you tend to obey them, and you stay in the bed.  And so your feeling of restricted freedom is reinforced. YOU ARE A PRISONER!
  3. Financially, you are responsible for the bill one way or another even if the hospital billing department makes a mistake. If you walk out of the hospital without medical advice, you most likely responsible for the bill. SEEMS TO BE A PRISONER TO ME.
  4. This all may seem a little funny, but most of it is true.


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