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Doctor Asks For Compensation For Treating Sick Pax  
User currently offlineCrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 698 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 15370 times:

So I came across this on Chris Elliott's site:

http://www.elliott.org/blog/you-migh...k-that-this-request-is-a-bit-bold/

I was curious what people here think about this.

To summarize, a pax on a TATL flight traveling on vacation volunteered his time to help a sick passenger. The whole ordeal lasted around 4 hours and because of the time he spent, this prevented a diversion to the UK which saved US Airways a bunch of money. He asked to be compensated for his time with two free round trip tickets to TLV, which US refused and instead offered him a $175 voucher.

So I see several key issues here:

1. He volunteered several hours of his time to help someone and this somewhat ruined the start of his vacation because he couldn't sleep and instead had to tend to someone who was acting practically insane. What he did prevented the flight from having to divert and saved US a lot of money.

2. He was (apparently) not legally required to help anyone, despite being a doctor, but did so anyway. On the other hand, I'm sure there is some sort of a moral code that doctors have that require them to assist someone in need. Wouldn't assistance in this situation be a reasonable expectation and a good Samaritan gesture?

3. Most people would probably say that SOME compensation is warranted. The question is, are 2 RT tickets to TLV excessive? I think that it is.

What do you guys think?

94 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 15361 times:

I think two free confirmed upgrades to F class the next time he purchases 2x Economy tickets to TLV would be about right.


-
User currently offlineUALAX From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 15339 times:

As a physician I would never ask for compensation for my services in helping an ill passenger. If US Airways offered a free upgrade or tickets sure but to demand it is a little excessive.

User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3244 posts, RR: 45
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 15250 times:



Quoting UALAX (Reply 2):

Couldn't agree more.  checkmark 

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 15210 times:



Quoting UALAX (Reply 2):
As a physician I would never ask for compensation for my services in helping an ill passenger. If US Airways offered a free upgrade or tickets sure but to demand it is a little excessive.

Completely agree!

Now can I get a script from some Vicodan!



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlineCha747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 781 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 15198 times:

A friend of mine (an Emergency Physician like myself) helped a passenger who had "passed-out" on a TATL flight (ATL-AMS IIRC) and got KLM salt and pepper shakers as a thank you from the crew. While he did not ask for compensation, a few FF miles, an upgrade, a voucher, or something else other than a salt and pepper shaker would have made the airline come-off looking better.

Personally, I would not demand compensation, but a perk thrown-in would be nice. I might ask nicely once (hey, could you throw 10k miles in my FF account?) once but if denied, I would not press the matter as the airline is no way obligated to compensate me for volunteering.



You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it - Pushing Tin
User currently offlineUALAX From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 15139 times:

I would also add that I probably wouldn't have tried to induce vomiting on an airplane as this could be risky (could leak to choking, etc) and I would have probably requested a diversion as alcohol plus sedatives can be a deadly combination.

User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5429 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15038 times:



Quoting Crosswinds21 (Thread starter):
He was (apparently) not legally required to help anyone, despite being a doctor

He may not be held criminally liable, but as a licensed physician in PA he could have his license suspended or revoked for violating his Hippocratic Oath.

As it is, attitudes like his are rather appalling. Whatever happened to just doing something nice with no expectation of financial reward?



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3783 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14929 times:

Could the doctor just send a bill to the passenger he treated rather than asking US for compensation?

LoneStarMike


User currently offlineMarkhkg From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14883 times:

Some airlines are very reluctant to provide compensation as it may invalidate liability protections provided in the US Aviation Medical Assistance Act.

http://www.chems.alaska.gov/ems/Assets/Downloads/pl105170.pdf

The Aviation Medical Assistance Act protects so-called "Good Samaritans". In many states the Good Samaritan act requires that care be rendered in good faith with no expectation of compensation. (You wouldn't want an off duty nurse to stop at the side of the road, treat you, then once you get out get a bill from them, right?)

Now, the Aviation Medical Assistance Act as a FEDERAL law (which therefore supercedes State law) has no specific language on providing care in "good faith" or not compensating the volunteer, but I'm certain that airline carriers legal departments generally are very fearful of anything that may look like an individual is being "paid" for services (and, it could be construed, that the person is thus a de facto employee of the airline).

In reading the above story though, I am struck that the physician is fighting over the fact that he saved US Airways "a lot of money". This is true but at the same time the Medlink physician was very willing to take responsbility for the diversion. The whole reason Medlink exists with a ground physician is that the airline doesn't want to take the legal responsibility for a diversion vs. an in-flight death due to continuing on. Thus, the responsbility is given to a subscribtion based company. Imagine if this patient died in flight after they decided to continue on - would the doc still be wanting compensation?!

There are a bunch of cases where disgruntled medical volunteers who have volunteered in-flight have complained to the press for lack of compensation, but the airlines generally remain steadfast in their decision to not provide elaborate compensation. I sympathize with the blog author but medical volunteers should never expect to be compensated in an emergency. If you want to get something out of helping...don't volunteer in the first place. (It's called "volunteering" for a reason.)

I think, if you ask my fellow EMTs and Paramedics, on whether they expected to be compensated after volunteering during an off-duty emergency, most of them would say no. Good Samaritan laws and the painful definitions of "duty to act" and such are grilled into us in Chapter 1 of the textbook.



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineCODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2356 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 14852 times:



Quoting UALAX (Reply 2):
As a physician I would never ask for compensation for my services in helping an ill passenger. If US Airways offered a free upgrade or tickets sure but to demand it is a little excessive.

There's got to be a CPT code for an out-of-office consult, right?


User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 611 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14780 times:

I actually worked on an article a while back about the legal and logistical issues of "is there a doctor on board?"

A particular case arose in which a specialist physician (I think dermatology) administered an in appropriate medication to an intoxicated passenger during a flight. The patient did survive, and the physician was not held liable. She was deemed to have followed the standard of care suitable for her own training.

I am a nurse practitioner, and this subject recently came up during a discussion with some of my colleagues. We all agreed that we would be nervous about liability, but would of course offer our services. We're all trained in advanced cardiac life support, and most of us have worked in critical care or anesthesia, and are more than prepared to manage an emergency.

It would be unthinkable to ask anyone for compensation. An inflight emergency is not a formal patient/provider relationship. There are no pre-arranged or written terms of payment or consent. It must be viewed as an exceptional circumstance.

If I witnessed a sick or injured person in any public place, I have the ethical obligation to assist. An airplane is no different.

Yes, I would love free tickets or upgrades--especially to Tel Aviv. But I wouldn't dream of asking the airline or sick passenger for that. A sick passenger's distress is not an opportunity to be a hero, a show-off, or to get ask for gifts.


User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 9965 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14774 times:



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 7):
Quoting Crosswinds21 (Thread starter):
He was (apparently) not legally required to help anyone, despite being a doctor

He may not be held criminally liable, but as a licensed physician in PA he could have his license suspended or revoked for violating his Hippocratic Oath.

As it is, attitudes like his are rather appalling. Whatever happened to just doing something nice with no expectation of financial reward?

Yeah, what did happen to that Hippocratic Oath, anyway???



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7128 posts, RR: 87
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14687 times:



Quoting Mayor (Reply 12):
Yeah, what did happen to that Hippocratic Oath, anyway???

Agree 100%. Maybe we can get DIA, RootsAir, or DocLightning to weigh in on this matter.


User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14667 times:
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Quoting Crosswinds21 (Thread starter):

3. Most people would probably say that SOME compensation is warranted. The question is, are 2 RT tickets to TLV excessive? I think that it is.

What do you guys think?



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 7):
As it is, attitudes like his are rather appalling. Whatever happened to just doing something nice with no expectation of financial reward?

Here's my take...based on my experience on several onboard medical events, while traveling with doctors in the family.

If it's something like a quick run on the AED or a 20 minute minor "procedure," no doctor would dream of asking for compensation.

However, a long while back, we were traveling to Tahoe (via some SFO area airport) for a ski trip. The call for a doc onboard came, my mom volunteered without thinking twice... it ended up keeping her awake for 2+ hours on a redeye...which pretty much ruined the 3 day trip for her. The AAirline didn't offer anything, which had her slightly annoyed because we used miles to upgrade to F for the sole purpose of getting some rest, and she wasn't able to take advantage of that. What made matters worse was when they refused to let us change our return tickets without paying the change fee + difference in fare, which, IMO, was a perfectly reasonable request given the circumstances.

On another incident, ages ago, from PHX to either Seattle or Vancouver, (this was on America West, back in the days where they had the IFE system that let you play Solitaire for about $5), my aunt, an RN who was helping out, had to stick around for almost an hour after landing, to debrief the ambulance crew and fill out all the paperwork (they didn't have time to process it beforehand). As a result, she had to go the the lost baggage office to get her bags, which ended up taking a long time due to the long line. Long story short, she missed out on the first few days of our huge family reunion cruise to Alaska. Not only that, but she had to pay for the last minute ticket to Juneau or wherever out of pocket!

More recently, there was an incident on VX that I talked about on here before. In a nutshell, some girl passed out and Dr. Mom (rightly) diagnosed that she needed sugar asap. Aside from the OJ, her and Medlink both agreed that the girl should have a cookie or snack bar. VX made my mom run her ****ing credit card through RED before they would grab the cookies! It was only $2 or $3, but it left us speechless that they waited for her to open her carry on and dig out the MasterCard, since they don't take Discover...

I guess my point is this: We all work hard for our vacations.. No one is asking the airlines for a $5,000 check... in most cases, the compensation requested is a free trip to the destination, so that the MD and the traveling party can redo the trip as planned... no one is asking for hotel/resort costs to be refunded, lost time reimbursed, or anything like that. Considering the marginal cost of an extra 4 pax is nil, the LEAST an airline could do is offer a voucher or FF miles. By doing that, they'll also avoid the liability side of things, since it's not reimbursing for the medical care, but for the ruined flight. If a flight attendant spills coke on you, they'll give you a free r/t.. but based on my experiences, there's an absolute dissentive to be the first person to volunteer to give help. Unless the person is in critical condition, it feels like the best thing for most docs to do would be to let the plane make an unplanned landing.

Quoting Markhkg (Reply 9):

In reading the above story though, I am struck that the physician is fighting over the fact that he saved US Airways "a lot of money". This is true but at the same time the Medlink physician was very willing to take responsbility for the diversion. The whole reason Medlink exists with a ground physician is that the airline doesn't want to take the legal responsibility for a diversion vs. an in-flight death due to continuing on. Thus, the responsbility is given to a subscribtion based company. Imagine if this patient died in flight after they decided to continue on - would the doc still be wanting compensation?!

Even if Medlink pays divert fees and whatnot, I'm sure it'll still negatively impact the airline, through annoyed customers, messed up scheduling down-line, etc.



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineMarkhkg From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 14592 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 14):
Even if Medlink pays divert fees and whatnot, I'm sure it'll still negatively impact the airline, through annoyed customers, messed up scheduling down-line, etc.

MedLink does not cover the fees for diversion.

----

Interestingly, a similar case involving a "non-emergency" medical case on board an Air Canada flight resulted in a Canadian small claims court to side with the physician. I feel that the article reflects many of the frustractions you noted, Luv2cattlecall, and I can absolutely sympathize that your mom's selflessness resulted in a ruined trip for her. I do feel though that the litigious nature of US society makes airlines legal departments reluctant to approve reimbursement of sorts for many airlines out of concerns I noted earlier.

http://www.canadianmedicinenews.com/...ust-pay-mds-for-non-emergency.html



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1044 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14475 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 14):
If it's something like a quick run on the AED or a 20 minute minor "procedure," no doctor would dream of asking for compensation

I don't think there is such a thing as a "quick run on the AED". Typically speaking, if the AED is used it's because somebody has gone into cardiac arrest and that is never just a "quick run".

Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 14):
I guess my point is this: We all work hard for our vacations.. No one is asking the airlines for a $5,000 check... in most cases, the compensation requested is a free trip to the destination, so that the MD and the traveling party can redo the trip as planned... no one is asking for hotel/resort costs to be refunded, lost time reimbursed, or anything like that. Considering the marginal cost of an extra 4 pax is nil, the LEAST an airline could do is offer a voucher or FF miles. By doing that, they'll also avoid the liability side of things, since it's not reimbursing for the medical care, but for the ruined flight. If a flight attendant spills coke on you, they'll give you a free r/t.. but based on my experiences, there's an absolute dissentive to be the first person to volunteer to give help. Unless the person is in critical condition, it feels like the best thing for most docs to do would be to let the plane make an unplanned landing.

I can't understand how one could hold the airline responsible for someone having a medical emergency. Its not as though the airline could have had any idea it was going to happen. As a rule, I think most airlines would prefer there be no medical emergencies but flying being what it is, it's just a reality. I think it's a nice gesture for the airlines to offer anything at all for your time but I don't know why it should be the responsibility of the airline to reimburse you for your time by way of giving you a free airline ticket or otherwise. If anything, the person recieving said services should be the one that does any reimbursing if there were to be any - it's just eastier to go after the airline because they are percieved as having deeper pockets. A doctor helping isn't necessarily saving the airline a diversion. In fact, most medical emergencies wouldn't require a diversion at all. Generally speaking, in my experience, most are just folks that had the unfortunate luck of bad timing that need a little care. Having somebody that has some experience in such matters is always helpful.


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5429 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14427 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 14):
VX made my mom run her ****ing credit card through RED before they would grab the cookies!

Oh wow. I hope she called and disputed the charge, and wrote to the airline and the BBB. Denying someone immediate, emergency assistance solely because you want to get paid first is illegal in most jurisdictions.

Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 14):
What made matters worse was when they refused to let us change our return tickets without paying the change fee + difference in fare, which, IMO, was a perfectly reasonable request given the circumstances.

Asking to move to a later flight is very reasonable, and a whole lot different than asking for a free round trip to an "exotic" destination.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineSlcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14230 times:

I cant believe he had the nerve to ask for tickets to Israel for doing something that he took an oath to do when he occurred no expenses. He was on the flight anyway its not like it took any of his time away he would have just been sitting in the seat. He got a 175$ voucher which i think was generous enough. I would hope that most doctors would want to help someone out its not like he used his own supplies or office or anything. Helping this guy out didn't cost him anything but time and he was on the flight anyway. He really didnt do that much anyway. Its not like he performed an emergency life saving procedure or anything.

People could start faking all types of medical conditions and have their doctor friends care for them just to try to get money out of the airlines. I dont think this is something they want to start doing nor have i ever heard of a doctor requesting compensation before.


User currently offlineJohnClipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14193 times:

I agree - "bill" the patient, not the airline. Would a doctor bill a restaurant if there was a fellow customer who needed the heimlich maneouver?

User currently offlineT8KE0FF From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 409 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13820 times:

My parents are both doctors and on several occasion's they have been called to help in an emergency. They were given nothing as in a way that is there job right? And if that person died on board then they would have that burden for the rest of there lives. Although i do think maybe airlines shoud acknowledge there help as it is there holiday.

On VS a GP recently got 2 bottles of champagne uppon arrival at LHR for helping.



RJ85 E145 E195 A319 A320 A330 A340 A380 B737 B747 B757 B767 B777 B787
User currently offlinePlanesmith From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2009, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13694 times:

The doctor concerned on this flight seems like the sort of doctor I would least like treating me. Thank heavens, recent experience in my family shows me that there are still doctors out there who will go the extra mile to help people without expectations of a medal. Give him his tickets to TLV and make sure he travel economy!

Certainly, some appropriate gesture should be forthcoming from the carrier, and no, $175 voucher doesn't cut it, rather like getting a book-token at Xmas. I think the two bottles of champagne from the Virgin crew was a better gesture of thanks in fact.

As a former ticket agent I once spent three days of a holiday arranging for the return home of a body when he died on vacation. The simple thanks of the widow was more than enough compensation.

Quoting UALAX (Reply 2):
As a physician I would never ask for compensation for my services in helping an ill passenger. If US Airways offered a free upgrade or tickets sure but to demand it is a little excessive.



User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4360 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 13617 times:

Reading the OP again, this was not a normal first aid, but 4 hours the doctor was engaged, and this saved US some 10000$. " whole ordeal lasted around 4 hours"

$175 for a 4 hour successful medical engagement isn't appropriate. Giving him two free tickets would be appropriatem, maybe limited to off-season. While I understand all of you who blame him, I also understand his position. If carriers act as inappropriate as US does, they shall not wonder no doctor shows up when needed.


User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3901 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13228 times:



Quoting Crosswinds21 (Thread starter):
He was (apparently) not legally required to help anyone, despite being a doctor, but did so anyway.

Im a medical student in the UK and we were always thought that you must provide a level of care which is appropriate to your level of training. (As a third year, with no training in emergency medicine I might reasonably be expected to monitor the patients vital signs, but a final year student might intubate, etc) We were told that the medical council (the UK regulatory body) would take a very dim view of refusing to help in situations like this.

Quoting T8KE0FF (Reply 20):
On VS a GP recently got 2 bottles of champagne uppon arrival at LHR for helping.

I was very young at the time, but I remember my dad (a GP) volunteering to help a passenger. He definitely neither asked, nor received, any compensation from the airline. I think the crew did give him a small token, I think it was a bottle of Red and a bottle of white from Business Class.

Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 14):
my aunt, an RN who was helping out, had to stick around for almost an hour after landing, to debrief the ambulance crew and fill out all the paperwork (they didn't have time to process it beforehand). As a result, she had to go the the lost baggage office to get her bags, which ended up taking a long time due to the long line. Long story short, she missed out on the first few days of our huge family reunion cruise to Alaska.

I think it would be reasonable for the airline to ensure the passenger gets to their final destination, as planned, any missed connections, etc as a result of volunteering would be appropriate, IMHO.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 22):
175 for a 4 hour successful medical engagement isn't appropriate. Giving him two free tickets would be appropriate, maybe limited to off-season.

No, on one hand, on the ground, he would expect to earn a lot more than 43 dollars/hour. On the other hand he did volunteer his services and was probably obligated (ethically) to do so anyway.

Personally I think asking for 2x RT tickets to TLV (is this the longest US route?) is a bit much. A couple of thousand miles or an RT in the 50 states would be more appropriate. I also think the sleep thing is a load of old cobblers. Fair enough, the flight was a red-eye and his snooze may have been interrupted, but as he says himself 80 hour weeks are not uncommon. I just don't buy the sleep depravation and that the initial days were ruined. I never sleep on flights USA-Europe and have often gone to work (administration) the following morning. It's not that difficult.

If I were to be in a similar situation I would not expect any compensation, but I would appreciate anything offered.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlineVHTJE From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 361 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13006 times:
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Funnily enough I had this very conversation with a physician friend over the weekend.

The story she told was that about 6 years ago she was called to assist a guy who had breathing difficulties on a BA flight from Chicago to LHR. There was an American doctor on board as well as my friend, but the American doctor was so risk adverse that it severely limited what he was prepared to do in order to help the patient. My friend had no qualms (i.e. put the patient's health interests first above all else) and saved the guy's life.

As a reward, she was upgraded to F for the remainder of the flight (the Amercian doctor stayed in Economy). After it was over, the Captain himself came out and thanked her. She quizzed the Captain about BA's policy on such matters, he told her the following, which I found interesting:

1. BA assumes on every flight that there will be someone on board who can assist in a medical emergency
2. BA's insurance policy indemnifies any medical professional who assists in an emergency

Does the same apply with other airlines, I wonder? Or does point 1 say something about BA's clientele?

I had had an earlier conversation with 4 doctor friends and they all concurred they wait until the call comes out 3 times before they respond. It must happen a lot!


25 Flying_727 : If he's asking for compensation, he didn't "volunteer" anything!
26 Ferengi80 : I would expect this doctor to be disciplined by the medical board he is under for breach of ethics in demanding compensation. I work for a major UK Am
27 Banjo76 : I guess that being required or not to assist somebody depends on the laws that apply on the flight, and if the doctor is entitled to treat the sick pe
28 Cha747 : We don't take it in its original form. Honestly, the original Hippocratic Oath does not allow abortions or any type of surgery major or minor...it ha
29 Iqbuero : My wife is a Doctor and helped a passenger on a LH flight from Dubai. " weeks later we received a letter from Lufthansa thanking us and informed us th
30 L410Turbolet : What a lowlife. The fact that he went as far as writing 12 paragraphs demanding compensation for his volunteering is unbelievable. He is probably one
31 AABB777 : I think it's a bit excessive for any doctor to ask for compensation for their services onboard an aircraft, but at the same time they - the doctors -
32 HOOB747 : I suspect you are correct in your assumption. The lack of common sense on part of the doctor is staggering. The behavior is selfish and arrogant. The
33 MilesDependent : I think we're all in agreement: Poor form by the airline in offering such lousy compensation Poor form by the Doctor in demanding compensation in this
34 Jadawin : The airline in fact owes this Doctor nothing. When you "Volunteer" to undertake an activity - you are doing it free of charge. Anything subsequently g
35 YULWinterSkies : How about that sick person's start of vacation? Not ruined either? What a selfish comment... Ever heard of ethics? Yes, it can suck to be a doctor, s
36 Curlyheadboy : Happened to me several years ago on LH (FRA-JFK). My dad's a doctor and we were travelling together in Y. A first class passenger felt unwell and the
37 Burkhard : ethics to may say that the doctor had to help. If he hadn't, he should be disciplined. He has. Ethics do not say that this help must be free. US Airwa
38 777jaah : That was sooo Dr House. BTW, I love that show. Sure, he was going to ask for compensation no matter what, he was in a win-win situation......but I wi
39 Pliersinsight : So, if I'm understanding everyone here on the side of no compensation correctly, then the solution to the American health insurance crisis is to only
40 GeorgiaAME : As a physician with 10 TATL emergencies (including 1 diversion, and 1 flight that was too far over the Atlantic to divert) under my belt with 4 differ
41 SW733 : Clearly these words don't belong...
42 Mayor : But he VOLUNTEERED! Where are HIS ethics?
43 L410Turbolet : Blame? Please remind me what exactly is the US Airways "blamed" for? He VOLUNTEERED to help, remember?
44 FlyingAY : I think his ethics were right there, considered he worked 4 hours for the person in need and treated the patient. At the same time, he saved thousand
45 Bristolflyer : The way to do it for this doc would have been to say 'thanks for the voucher, but I'm looking to take a trip to Tel Aviv soon, any chance of some assi
46 Norlander : This is starting to become more common. A couple of my friends are working on an cruise ferry and they've reported stories similar to this one, were d
47 'Longreach' : Excellent thread!! This is a tough one. I see you all bringing up the 'volunteered' point but I visit doctors everyday and they tell me if you keep qu
48 MoltenRock : Had something gone wrong or simply not like the patient would have wanted you can bet a lawsuit by said victim/patient would be forthcoming. I am not
49 LoneStarMike : Two observations here. First, in the Dr's letter that he sent to US he noted: If the flight had diverted, it would have inconvenienced a lot of people
50 FcK77 : Hello everyone, I am a long time member but just rarely contribute to the discussions as I am an airline fanatic, but not an airline specialist. Howev
51 Crosswinds21 : I wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with any of this. I was just stating/summarizing what was in the article.
52 MoltenRock : So the airline offered up front a to give your father approx. $14,300 which he chose to return, yet you view the doctor who merely asked the airline
53 FcK77 : MoltenRock, I apologize if my post was not clear, but I find the notion of the doctor "asking/pushing" for a monetary reward for helping not correct.
54 Traindoc : I am an ER physician and in February my wife (a Physicians Assistant) took care of a passenger who became acutely while traveling from ZRH to EWR. Our
55 D L X : The first day of my week long London vacation was ruined recently because United Airlines put me next to a passenger who was terrified of flying and k
56 Flymd : Agreed!. As a physician, I would never ask for compensation. Having said that, you are giving your time and expertise and opening yourself up to some
57 Sandager : It says he volunteered to help a sick passenger. To me volunteering is doing something without getting paid. So I really do not see why he should be c
58 Chris777 : People like him just disgust me!!!! First of all i would say he is exaggerating when he sad he spent 4 hours helping that pax if they were over Irelan
59 Contrails15 : Guy doesn't believe in Karma I guess. As a medical doctor you take an oath to take care of the sick if its in ur ability, regardless if you get paid f
60 Boeing747_600 : He was offered a bottle of champagne!! What more does he want?!?! perhaps if he learnt to enjoy the occasional drink, he wouldn't be so uptight. Heck,
61 Silentbob : While I agree with this for the most part, I do wonder about... It certainly could be read that the physician in question was more concerned with his
62 FlyDeltaJets87 : Just to play devil's advocate in this one: Which I'm sure this guy will then tell the airline if he ever finds himself being asked to assist in a medi
63 Mayor : If he "volunteered" with the expectation that he would be compensated, he's worse than I originally thought. That seems to be the gist of this whole
64 Contrails15 : Its a moral situation. Some things in life you just do because its the right thing ranging from helping someone across the street to saving a persons
65 Flymd : True, he did volunteer but as a physician (or someone with medical training) you really can't just sit quietly when someone asks for your help. Plus,
66 Mayor : Once they crew asks and someone responds, they know they aren't getting compensated, so they "volunteered" on their own. The volunteering is implied
67 NWAESC : I dunno, those are kind of a hot commodity on the memorabilia circuit...
68 MarkHKG : Doc, it's physicians like you that it awesome to work with in the pre-hospital setting - you're the type of doc who I know will take great care of my
69 PHL27RPhotog : I talked to Dr. Pomerantz on the phone today (trying to line him up for a TV interview). He was very nice and explained his position (I don't buy any
70 Jbernie : Maybe he should have put his hat around at the end of the flight and ask all the other passengers to chip in $10 each for his work as well? He volunte
71 Mats : Part of being a physician, nurse, or other healthcare provider is that your training and ethics are with you wherever you go. Part of our life is answ
72 TheCommodore : He volunteered, if he didnt want to help, he should have just kept quiet and said nothing about being a doctor and "volunteering" to help someone in n
73 Luv2cattlecall : So…when one “volunteers” to be bumped on an overbooked flight, I suppose they’re doing so out of the goodness of their heart, right? Or is it
74 Cha747 : Now that I re-read the article and thought about it, Dr. Pomerantz blatantly admits malpractice. From an Emergency Medicine toxicology standpoint, the
75 Luv2cattlecall : That’s interesting, that BA assumes that. This does show that doctors, even without doing anything, save an airline a considerable amount of money.
76 Luv2cattlecall : I have a family member who is a geriatrician, and the only family member I have who works more hours is a gastroenterologist. There is a VERY short s
77 Post contains links Luv2cattlecall : Sorry, last post for awhile, but this thread really puts things into perspective: Fair Comp? (by VC10er Sep 2 2009 in Civil Aviation) (a pax had buste
78 Markhkg : Just to back this up...the FAA does NOT require intubation equipment or suction equipment on board the aircraft, so you're absolutely right that the
79 Wdleiser : Sooooo if a doctor is first on the scene to a car crash and treats someone who has an injury prior to the paramedics arriving he should then demand p
80 AA767400 : Whether monetary or not, it is still compensation. What ever happened to doing the right thing for someone? Helping a fellow human being? People have
81 Snoopy : Why should anyone expect doctors to give their time free of charge? Sure, he was obligated to help, but that doesn't mean he has to do it for free. An
82 N702ML : They would have diverted and the passenger would have received medical attention on the ground.
83 RootsAir : people like that should not be allowed to practise. Reminds me of a story whereby a physician asked this friend of his who is lawyer if he should cha
84 Sandager : I don't see how you can compare these 2 situations. On board the flight the doctor volunteered to do what he did. He wasn't offered any bonus for doi
85 Pliersinsight : I hear ya, but.... ...unless of course the paramedics that show up later, the cops, the hospital the injured person goes to and the auto repair shop
86 Mayor : I'm a little confused, here. Are we not arguing whether or not the doctor should or should not get compensation FROM THE AIRLINE? My argument is, no,
87 TymnBalewne : When I was an airline's station manager we had a customer who collapsed on arrival on the jetbridge after a transatlantic flight. A dr. who was also o
88 OHLHD : He should be glad that he helped a person! That is why he is a doctor. Tickets to TLV......hmmm......well......let me guess
89 Sparkingwave : Let's look at the situation another way. No doctor on board and the patient died, vs. the doctor being on board and saving the patient's life and aski
90 Mayor : He might have gotten more out of US if he HADN'T asked for the compensation. Asking for it would give me a bad feeling if I was US. What has this soc
91 413X3 : I agree with what the doctor was saying, but not his tactics. He is probably angry that the airline did not offer what he considered to be just compen
92 Crosswinds21 : So it seems to me that the general consensus is: 1. US Airways should have proactively offered him something to say "thank you" for the services that
93 OS-A330 : I will sum up my thoughts on this topic in three points: 1. In this specific case, every compensation offered by the airline is a sign of good-will, a
94 Post contains links Expatmatt : I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the program that LH put together to identify doctors on board on their manifests, to avoid the "is there a doc
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