Ask to see Social Services. Every hospital has a department that can help.
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The hospital can't hold a person hostage to paying their debts. But it sounds like your friend is seriously disabled & needs ongoing medical care. Don't encourage her to check out of the hospital against medical advice and assure her that you will visit often and will help her as needed and that she can set the boundaries for the relationship. Hope this perspective helps!
Think about your friend's health first and the bills later. There are a number of social systems in place to help (eg charity care, Medicare). Also, if someone else was responsible for her injuries, they could potentially be on the hook for her bills and pain and suffering. If the injuries were from an accident, you should contact an attorney. Good luck.
DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that this post is not intended to constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. This posting in no way creates an attorney client relationship. You should contact an attorney to protect your interests.