Here's what I think. If you go the the emergency room, the hospital should not be allowed to - three months later - send you fundraising appeals that start out:
Going to the hospital is never fun.
But we hope that when you came to [redacted] Hospital, you received top-notch care close to home and you found the Hospital to be a warm, caring place where you were treated with respect.
Because that right there? That solicitation violates the tenets of separation of church and state, and the bright line between advertising and editorial. It's an invasion of my privacy. It's completely improper and wrong. The fundraisers should not know who the patients are. It's like ambulance chasing.
Besides, I'm broke, because that little trip to the emergency room cost me something in excess of $5,000, thank you very much.
Update: Apparently this is legal under HIPAA. But that doesn't make it right.