The Clayton County (GA) Commission will soon decide the future of thousands of patients who rely on Southern Regional, Clayton's only hospital, when it votes on whether to back a $40 million bond for the hospital. Hospital board chairman Ron Dodson has said Southern Regional likely will close without the county's help. Hospital spokesman William Applegate said Southern Regional's finances are troubled, but there may be other options besides the county's help. Dodson said the hospital has until the end of December to refinance $40 million in bad debt or default on a loan. That default, coupled with an annual $40 million loss for indigent patients, would mean financial death for the 331-bed hospital.