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Daughter Says Dying Mother Denied Hospice Care Because Neighborhood Isn't Safe

NORTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A dying woman's daughter says her mother isn't getting the hospice care she needs, because the hospital is too afraid to go to her crime-ridden neighborhood.

The family of Gloria Madrid is doing everything it can in the last hours of her life to get her through the agonizing pain of her cancer, including in-home hospice care.

But a couple of days ago, they ran out of pain medication, because hospice workers from Mercy San Juan Medical Center decided not to return to her home, saying they didn't feel safe.

"I got a call from the supervisor and they said that the bathing nurse had said that she viewed some kids outside by the sidewalk smoking marijuana," said Jennifer Gallegos, Madrid's daughter.

Gallegos said the nurse also didn't feel safe because Madrid's grandson was murdered not far from the complex more than three years ago.

"I told Mercy hospice, 'If I lived in Folsom, if I lived in a rich area, would you come out?' They said, 'We have no problem with that.'"

Mercy declined our requests for an on-camera interview, instead opting to send a statement from a vice president saying in part, "... we do not require our workers ... to work in an environment deemed to be unsafe. In the rare instance where our hospice workers can no longer provide care due to an unsafe environment, we work diligently to identify other available care options."

The options the hospital offered instead: Take her to the ER or call 911. Those are options that Gallegos says are the opposite of her mother's wishes.

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