Woman Legally Barred from Seeing Dying Mother at Tauranga Hospital


A tragic situation has unfolded, as a woman, Tracy Lee, has been legally barred from visiting her critically ill mother at Tauranga Hospital following an alleged incident. The mother, afflicted with stage-four cancer and vascular dementia, is currently in palliative care and is believed to have merely weeks left.

Lee, who works proactively in suicide prevention and holds power of attorney for her mother, was issued a trespass notice by a police officer, acting on behalf of the hospital. The notice delineates that any violation of the trespass could see her facing a fine of up to $1000 or a prison sentence of up to three months. Lee is left with the agonizing prospect of her mother’s loneliness and pain, expressing concerns to local media that “If I return to visit my dying mother, I will be arrested on the spot.”

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The situation began when Lee allegedly assaulted a nurse in her fervor to secure proper relief for her mother, a claim which she hotly denies, dismissing it as “nonsense.” While the police confirm the issuance of the trespass notice, they are not currently investigating further and it seem like no charges have been filed yet.

Lee took to social media to share her distressing experience, lamenting over how asking for pain relief for her mother resulted in her ban from the hospital. Her post was met with wide disbelief and sympathetic responses, with one user suggesting she approach the Health and Disability Commissioner for assistance.

Despite the harsh consequences of her alleged actions, Lee is currently seeking legal consultation in a bid to get the notice overturned. She has also considered the possibility of transferring her mother to another hospital, although her mother’s poor health and pain levels may render this option impractical.

The hospital has not turned a blind eye to this matter. A senior advisor, Debbie Brown, while refusing to comment on individual cases, stressed that trespass orders are not issued lightly. According to Brown, the hospital had offered the family a meeting with the group operations director and a senior governance and quality advisor prior to the incident that led to the trespass order. The offer, however, was not taken up and still stands.

This incident, a rare occurrence given that only 20 trespass orders have been issued against 37,000 hospital admissions in the last year, comes as instances of verbal and physical aggression against frontline staff rise. A police spokeswoman confirmed the delivery of the trespass notice and stated that any further elucidation of events is for the hospital to disclose.