Woman dies after being forcibly removed from hospital

A woman who refused to leave a hospital when doctors discharged her died after she was forcibly removed by police, authorities said Tuesday.

Barbara Dawson, 57, collapsed Monday while being escorted in handcuffs from the Liberty Calhoun Hospital, where she went to seek treatment for breathing difficulties, said Blountstown Police Department chief Mark Mallory. Mallory said an officer had arrested Dawson for disorderly conduct and trespassing.

An autopsy on Dawson has been performed and the results should be released Wednesday, Mallory said. Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials have been called in to investigate, department spokesman Steve Arthur said. He declined to comment further.

Mallory said that the officer who arrested Dawson removed the handcuffs after she collapsed and escorted her back into the hospital.

"We were told by a doctor once she got back in the hospital that her vital signs were good and it was their decision to readmit her," he said. He said dashcam footage from the officer's car does not show the incident but does pick up the audio.

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