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Pregnant Woman Dies After EMT's 'refuse To Help'  
User currently offlineFuturePilot16 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2035 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4989 times:

Well, i've found the disgusting story of the week.

Quote:
New York officials are investigating two emergency medical practitioners [EMT] after they allegedly refused to help a pregnant woman who collapsed while they were taking a break, the New York Post has reported.
According to witnesses, when the Fire Department paramedics were approached for help during their coffee break, they suggested the staff call 911.

To me, this is more disturbing than the guy that infected his wife wife HIV. Imagine, someone is DYING and you are a paramedic, trained to save people's lives, and you wouldn't help her out because you're on a "coffee break"? This is so inhumane, it's impossible to believe. Very hard to comprehend that people could be so heartless.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-...s-after-paramedics-refuse-to-help/


"The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all."
59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

Yep. Bloomberg was livid during the presser. Hard to believe these people exist. Sad.

User currently offlineFuturePilot16 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2035 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4793 times:



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 1):

The least is they should be fired.



"The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all."
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2670 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4790 times:

I simply do not believe it.


Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4755 times:



Quoting FuturePilot16 (Reply 2):
The least is they should be fired.

You think? They are probably going to get sued along with the dept.


User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2670 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4743 times:

Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?


Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineIliriBDL From Germany, joined May 2007, 1205 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4709 times:



Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?

It should be, their job is to save people, that's what they get paid to do, so in this case they refused to do their job.

Give them 5 years in prison, and teach everyone a lesson that life > coffee break + anything else you got going on.



delta.com
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4683 times:



Quoting FuturePilot16 (Reply 2):
The least is they should be fired

Fired for what...? They are guilty of nothing at this point and have been found of no wrong doing at this point....

Now is it plays out as reported......another story



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineBlrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1423 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4652 times:



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):
You think? They are probably going to get sued along with the dept.

What they did was totally wrong and if they have a conscience, I don't know how they will live with the fact that they could have saved a life and watched it die as they spent 15 minutes for a coffee.

However, legally, can they really be sued? they refused to work during their break time which legally appears to be right ( legally only, not humanely/morally/ethically). So can they really be sued?


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19727 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4634 times:



Quoting FuturePilot16 (Thread starter):

To me, this is more disturbing than the guy that infected his wife wife HIV. Imagine, someone is DYING and you are a paramedic, trained to save people's lives, and you wouldn't help her out because you're on a "coffee break"?

And the thing is that if you are on break, you are protected by Good Samaritan laws. I've helped people in distress all over the place. During my three years in New York I assisted in four different medical emergencies on the subway and one on the street. On one occasion, I had an off-duty EMT with me who also assisted. She was concerned that she'd be late to work and I actually called her supervisor to tell him that she would be late to work because she had to unexpectedly do her job.

Quoting FuturePilot16 (Reply 2):

The least is they should be fired.

The question is whether they can be. Technically, if they are on break, they are not bound by any oath (of which I'm aware) to assist, nor is it part of their job description.

I'm not defending them, of course. But what I'm wondering, and perhaps a lawyer on the boards can answer, is whether they have a legal obligation to assist. Obviously, they have an ethical obligation, but is it a matter of law?


User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2670 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4629 times:

Dudes, there's all sorts of legal exemptions to the break requirements. Executives and other salaried folk are legally exempt from overtime entitlement; there absolutely have to be similar exemptions to the "15-minute break" rule when, for gosh sakes, there are lives in jeopardy!!!!!


Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4626 times:

I know this is cliche, but I think there's much more to it than the story is telling.

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4611 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 11):
I know this is cliche, but I think there's much more to it than the story is telling

There almost always is...........



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4580 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
And the thing is that if you are on break, you are protected by Good Samaritan laws

There is no such thing for NYEMTs. They are on duty from the moment they report for their tour till they are done with their tour. There is no such thing as break time.


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4567 times:



Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?

I hope so. In Germany, there's a charge named "Unterlassene Hilfeleistung", which is Article 323c of the Federal Penal Code, punishable with a fine or up to a year in prison. This not only applies to EMTs or Paramedics (what we call a "Notarzt"), but this applies for anyone who doesn't even at least call for an ambulance, or tries to provide some assistance.

I don't know what the punishment is in the US for EMTs who deliberately refuse to provide assistance, but I do hope that for this, they get charged with at least negligent homicide.


User currently offlineT prop From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1029 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4566 times:

Were they in uniform? If they were they are obligated to help in that situation. If they didn't want to be bothered they should have been dressed in civilian clothes. I think the same applies to police officers, if you're in uniform the public will consider you on duty.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4543 times:

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 14):
Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
Crimimanal charges of negligent homicide are a possibility here, aren't they?

I hope so. In Germany, there's a charge named "Unterlassene Hilfeleistung", which is Article 323c of the Federal Penal Code, punishable with a fine or up to a year in prison. This not only applies to EMTs or Paramedics (what we call a "Notarzt"), but this applies for anyone who doesn't even at least call for an ambulance, or tries to provide some assistance.

I don't know what the punishment is in the US for EMTs who deliberately refuse to provide assistance, but I do hope that for this, they get charged with at least negligent homicide.

Small correction: An EMT or paramedic would be a Rettungssanitäter or Rettungsassistent. A "Notarzt" is a fully qualified physician, mostly a surgeon, an internist or anaestetist, who has additionally received training in field emergency procedures (means that he can work, e.g. if necessary performing emergency surgery, outside a fully equipped hospital, just with the equipment on his specially equipped ambulance).

Jan

[Edited 2009-12-22 15:44:00]

User currently offlineOA412 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 5279 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4524 times:



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 4):

Whether they can actually be sued is a bit tricky. I don't know how it works in NYC but where I live, you can be sued in civil court if you are found to be negligent in the performance of your duty. Now, because they were on a break, I don't know if the laws that apply while they are officially on duty also apply in this situation. My opinion is that they should have helped the woman out regardless of whether or not they were on duty and that they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing so but I'm not entirely certain that a lawsuit against them will be successful. My  twocents 



Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
User currently offlineFuturePilot16 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2035 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4494 times:



Quoting T prop (Reply 15):
Were they in uniform? If they were they are obligated to help in that situation.

According to the story, they were on a "coffee break" which would suggest that they were on duty and just stopped in for some coffee and relax a little. When they were asked for help, people said the EMT's said "call 911, i'm on a break". Again, this is coming from witnesses, so it could always be a bit exaggerated.

The fact is, there might be a lot more to this story than is being told, because as one person said, I cannot believe this story, but as of now, this is all we know. I know however, that even if there is more to it, I simply cannot understand why they wouldn't help her. Even if they didn't say those things, strong evidence indicates that they did not help her at all.



"The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all."
User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4477 times:

Also the baby the woman was carrying dies as well. It was only at 6 months and died later in the hospital. I would assume that the EMT's could be considered responsible for it's death to due to their indifference and inaction.

The whole thing is sad because it didn't need to happen at all, that is what upsets me so much about what they did (more accurately didn't do). They could have helped her, been hero's, she might have survived, and at the very least her baby may have been able to have been saved.

Instead we have four lives lost, two to death from inaction and two people who have lost their livelihoods, possibly their freedom, and most certainly the life they had prior to this.

Stupid.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 20, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4470 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
Small correction: An EMT or paramedic would be a Rettungssanitäter or Rettungsassistent. A "Notarzt" is a fully qualified physician, mostly a surgeon, an internist or anaestetist, who has additionally received training in field emergency procedures (means that he can work, e.g. if necessary performing emergency surgery, outside a fully equipped hospital, just with the equipment on his specially equipped ambulance).

I couldn't find a proper translation for Notarzt, so I used paramedic because it does sound related (at least to me).

Quoting OA412 (Reply 17):
My opinion is that they should have helped the woman out regardless of whether or not they were on duty and that they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing so but I'm not entirely certain that a lawsuit against them will be successful.

Isn't it so as well that doctors, even if they're off duty, should also immediately provide assistance when they see or hear about a nearby medical emergency?

This is slightly OT, but since I'm on the subject, here at work, one of the doctors refused to attend someone who complained about flu-like symptoms. From what I've heard, she probably had fear of the swine flu, so she refused to treat him, or provide him any assistance. And one time, when I had to visit the company doctor immediately after what turned out to be a panic attack (my heart was racing, I was sweating cold and I felt that I was about to pass out), she chewed me out because I came without an appointment. So I wonder about her: If I e.g. have a heart attack, nobody chooses to help me and the infirmary is nearby, should I ask for an appointment first even if I was about to die? I'd expect physicians to take the hypocratic oath more seriously instead of not attending a genuine emergency due to lack of paperwork. Since then, I've been seeing another doctor and she helped me get better.


User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4467 times:

Not entirely related but didn't we recently have a thread on here about whether a doctor (or medically trained person) on an airplane is required to "volunteer" to help if there is a situation on the flight that calls for it?

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4452 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
Technically, if they are on break, they are not bound by any oath (of which I'm aware) to assist, nor is it part of their job description.

By this standard, a traffic officer, directing traffic can check their watch, see that it's break time, and simple walk to a coffee shop? Can you imagine the uproar if the fire department showed up at a 5 alarm blaze, and then pulled out their lunch and started eating? Emergencies and such do NOT happen on schedule...



Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8964 posts, RR: 39
Reply 23, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4427 times:

Fired, sure. Legally punished, not IMO. No one should be forced to perform services against his or her own will. And it doesn't matter how awful the situation is. You don't fix a wrong with another. This is certainly ethically reprehensible, but not a crime, though I agree it feels borderline criminal.


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13116 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (4 years 9 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4426 times:

The latest news stories on this are saying they are suspended (probably with pay, due to obscene labor union rules) and are under investigation. I would hope they get fired promptly, or be forced to resign, all benefits cut off and no pension benefits. Screw them to the wall for their horrible irresponsability

25 OA412 : I believe so but I think that is because of the Hippocratic oath which the EMT's, as far as I know, are not beholden to. I'm sure DocLightning can sh
26 Springbok747 : There has to be more to this story. The link says that these two were 'dispatchers', but had some medical training. Would it have made any difference
27 DocLightning : Eh... it's tricky. If I'm on a plane and there's an emergency, I am not legally required to assist. But ethically, I am. I am protected by Good Samar
28 PC12Fan : It's the good 'ole US of A - they'll find a way. No one forced anything. This is a question of morality - of which these EMT's failed beyond miserabl
29 OA412 : Interesting! I rarely say this but the people you describe are clearly in the wrong line of work if they are more worried about what their job descri
30 PPVRA : I know, I was just stating my position on some of the opinions expressed above.
31 Mdsh00 : AND I can't remember how many times, even half way through my intern year, that I've had patients with active STEMIs who I rush their bloods to the l
32 DocLightning : Well, duh! But once hired and in a union, just try to fire them. Hell, we had a unit clerk who was functionally illiterate and who didn't speak intel
33 NIKV69 : Yea nothing like this could happen anywhere else. What an idiotic statement.
34 OA412 : There was also that case in the Brooklyn Hospital maybe a year ago where a woman collapsed and eventually died in an ER. Apparently no one bothered t
35 DocLightning : That was a slightly situation. That patient was known to be mentally ill, and, if I recall, had a pattern of faking illness in the ED. So apparently
36 Airstud : What are "STEMIs?" Or pancakes. (Mmmmm, pancakes...)
37 OA412 : Ah OK. I couldn't quite remember all the details of that case. I googled it and found out that it's a type of heart attack.
38 Airstud : Ahh, that would make sense b'cuz MI is myocardial infarction. But, unclear on what makes an MI a STEMI...
39 Stratosphere : Doesn't have to be either of those places..I was vomiting blood and was brought by ambulence to a local hospital in North Mississippi near Memphis. W
40 Stratosphere : Well the Mother and child are a loss..But if this story has any merit..Then if these two lose their careers than so be it..No tears here.. That is to
41 OA412 : Did you at least find out what was causing you to vomit up all that blood?
42 NorthstarBoy : Just to play devil's advocate, is it possible that they didn't have the proper equipment on them? or that they didn't have the training to assist in a
43 Mdsh00 : Sorry I was talking in Doctor . A STEMI is an ST Elevation MI, the type of heart attack that is much more worrisome, which you can detect on an EKG a
44 IAirAllie : With all due respect as a former blood bank lab tech you don't have the big picture when you call in your request. You have no idea what other issues
45 N1120A : Almost certainly not. 1) In most states, its actually a 10 minute break. 2) This isn't about being legally defined as exempt or non-exempt. This is a
46 Lincoln : Even if you can't directly do anything to help the person, if you're a professional it seems like there's an option between "go screw yourself, I'm o
47 DocLightning : You need your hands, brain, and mouth. At the least you can do CPR. You can take charge of the situation, keep everyone calm, clear the area so that
48 Mdsh00 : right but when i call ahead to say "this patient has active chest pains and is having a heart attack" I would hope it be given some priority since th
49 Stratosphere : Nope I never did..I even went to my gastroenterologist and he performed a endoscopy and could not find what caused it.. I have to say I knew I lost s
50 Stratosphere : Well Allie that wasn't my intention...But if YOU had been in my place and had survived a night of hell in an ER that was a crappy as this one was..We
51 Baw2198 : To the best of my knowledge I think the rural/metro folks in buffalo are (commercial ambulance) When I took the NYS basic emt course spring of 2008,
52 Adh214 : Yes but this cuts both ways. When the relatively low paid lab technician is getting demands from a relatively high paid doctor, the technician might
53 DocLightning : At my hospital, lab techs made $70k, roughly. I made $60K as a resident. Nurses made $80-90K and attending physicians about $110K. The doctors in the
54 Flymia : I think so. They did not do anything. It depends on NY state and NYC laws. Some states have laws which require someone that is a EMT to give help in
55 DocLightning : Nope. We are protected. I learned that recently in a lecture by an MD/JD about responding to in-flight medical emergencies. First of all, not having
56 Airstud : I wonder whether there is an excuse for unprofessional behavior... In any case, we've got some medical dudes weighing in on this matter, which is very
57 DocLightning : I can think of only one: medical condition in which the professional ceases to be in control of his/her behavior. For example, someone behaves unprof
58 Airstud : Let's hear from the transcriptionists who work for doctors who've got Tourette's.
59 LTU932 : Even if they did not have the equipment, they could have called 911 and tried to help the person with at least basic first aid procedures (e.g. stabi
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