Liability for medical expense

Is one liable for all medical care one recieves? If one is unconscious and is taken to the hospital, is one liable for the expenses incurred? If one is conscious, does one have to agree to accept liability for one to incur it? I’m especially wondering about the last episode of ER, in which a pregnant woman is treated for complications, during which her baby is taken out of her womb and put on life support, against her wishes. Is she liable for the expenses from the life support?

The short answer is, yes, you are liable for all the medical care you receive. Nothing happens without permission from the next of kin or legal authority anyway, and most facilities I’m familiar with take extra steps to document care given while the patient is unconscious in the event there’s any dispute. (There is generally a note in the medical record that indicates that such-and-such treatment was authorized by whomever. This makes the insurance company happy and keeps the doctors and facility off the hook.) From the billing perspective, seeking treatment is tantamount to agreeing to pay the bill. Signing a consent to treat also gives the doctor permission to bill. No signature, no bill. No bill, no treatment.

That said, I didn’t see ER last week, so I can’t give particulars on that specific scenario. There may be legal reasons why the baby was placed on life support against the mother’s wishes.