Adults are supposed to learn better than this.
Especially those adults responsible for protecting us.
In June, a suspected killer was allowed to walk out of an Augusta hospital because Aiken County, S.C., authorities hadn't officially arrested him -- most likely in an effort to avoid paying for his hospital care.
As we said then, it's nice to see public officials try to cut costs -- but in this case, not at the expense of public safety. MCG Health says it can't detain patients if they're not under arrest -- period. Nor do they feel that under federal law they can notify authorities when a patient is discharged.
Law enforcement types don't have to agree with that policy. But they have to live with it.
So if you want a guy treated like he's under arrest, arrest him. Don't expect nurses and doctors to do it. That's not their line of work.
What did we learn from that incident? Nothing.
Again this past week a criminal suspect left MCG Health. This one, from Edgefield County, S.C., was suspected of sexual assault on a minor.
Edgefield Police blame the hospital. They claim federal law allows hospitals to warn police when suspects leave a hospital.
We don't know who's right about that, but we do know what the hospital's current policy is -- and so should every lawman in the two-state by now.
What's it going to take? A beer at the White House? Area hospitals and law enforcement agencies need to get their acts together, for our sake.