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The danger of 'getting involved'.

Discussion in 'First Aid Station' started by knestle, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Andy_L

    Andy_L Loaded Pockets

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    In the past I used to go to work wearing the hi vis coat. I very quickly switched to wearing a normal coat and packing the hi vis, I also use a plain black bag (marauder) and when at work add some first aid logos.
    I guess I'd be classed as an advanced first aider, I don't like being identified as such unless I'm on the clock. Even when I'm working I've tried to look less like a paramedic as drunk members of the public are very bad at understanding scope of practice.

    As Joe on the street I'll stop but don't identify myself more then I have to.
     
  2. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    I personally haven't called anyone any names based on their decision. I have questioned the "glad it's not me" attitude so many people have expressed. I am well aware that numerous people have expressed that they would stop, but would be very cautious. I am one of those. That's what the thread was originally about. Then people cut in and started arguing that it is foolish to stop and help. That is what started the contraversy.
     
  3. jegrundh

    jegrundh Loaded Pockets

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    VT has a nice good samaritan law. But i have to say that i would stop and help, no matter the circumstances. I understand that people need to look after themselves and their family, and that a lawsuit can really impair them, but I would like to believe in the fact that humanity is mostly good.

    That being said, i'd feel much better at the end of the day saving someone, than not. I do feel sad though that humanity has apparently stooped this low, as to sue someone that was trying to help them...
     
  4. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

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    llike er-doc said, it only takes one to ruin one's life. It pays to take extra precautions, and walk away when things don't smell right.
     
  5. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    That is a theory, not a fact. Bit too broad for this topic, but if it was a fact; police officers would be rarer than a Honus Wagner baseball card from a pack of cigarettes or a stamp with a bi-plane pictured upside down.
     
  6. aegri_mentis

    aegri_mentis Loaded Pockets

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    Just about two or three weeks ago, some EMTs/Paramedics were in a coffee shop up north somewhere, on a lunch break. A woman fell unconscious in the same shop.
    The EMTs refused to render any aid whatsoever, and actually got up and left the shop, telling the bystanders they needed to call the incident in to 911, and left.
    The woman, who I believe was pregnant, later died.
    Yes, some people have been deridded for their statements, saying they would either not stop to help or make a 911 call as they walked away, but anyone who made those statements did it on their own free will. If you weren't ready for the possible negative reaction to your statement, then don't put your opinion out there for everyone to react to it. Some people seem to think, "I want everyone to know my unsolicited opinion, but I don't want to hear your reaction to it."
    GROW UP.

    What seems to me to be a central problem is in the title of this thread. "The 'danger' of getting involved". It's not a "danger" as much as it is a "risk", or even better, a "consequence". Yes, there may be some fallout if you stop to help someone; you might get sued, you might lose some time and money, etc. But I would sure as hell rather give it a shot, and risk losing some money, than to have to deal with my own conscience the rest of my life.
    People seem to want reward without risk, and this is evidenced by those who say they don't want to be called to action "off the clock". As a police officer, two of the most violent confrontations I have been in have been self-initiated off-duty incidents where I was not willing to walk away, or pass it on to others....
     
  7. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    jfirebalrog,

    I put it to you: Was it immoral for the EMTs in the incident aegri mentis described to leave without rendering aid. In this situation I feel confident that it was highly immoral. I don't care how dedicated they are on the job. As a human being, how much do they care about others when they're not being paid to care?
     
  8. aegri_mentis

    aegri_mentis Loaded Pockets

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    This typifies why this type of thing happens, and I don't know whether to be shocked or not by this type of attitude...
    I am sure that lying in the street, needing assistance, only to watch people walk by without helping, is "quite traumatic emotionally".
    Folks, sometimes, it is not about you.
     
  9. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Loaded Pockets

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    Its part of the calculation that individuals need to make. I've seen what happens to professionals who get sued, and I thank G-D I haven't been sued for malpractice. I have seen professionals (physicians, nurses, paramedics) and individuals with no duty to act (good Samaritans) sued for bad outcomes, and outcomes that were not at all bad - in fact, I've seen physicians sued for absolutely NO reason at all: They never saw the patient, weren't even on duty the night the alleged event happened. A lawyers mistake, but it still took over a year to get one individual excused from a suit, and during that year was under a great deal of emotional stress that detracted from his ability to do his job.

    Considering that it can take 2 or more years to settle a suit (even in your favor) and cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend yourself (even if you win), and in the final analysis it has absolutely NOTHING to do with any facts, like did you actually do anything wrong, it bears thinking about.

    For a professional it's even worse: If I were sued, my malpractice carrier could just settle (even though I didn't do anything wrong), which counts as a successful malpractice suit against me, it goes on my permanent record, can keep me from getting hospital privileges (and there aren't a lot of other places an Emergency Physician can work), keep me from getting licensed in some states, and absolutely, without a doubt, cost me lots of money in far higher malpractice premiums forever. At the very least, the time I spent in defending myself (even if successful) would be time I wouldn't be earning money. Counter-suing the plaintiff? Think they have any money? And thats just more expense out of my pocket, and more time not working.

    And say I did lose a suit - and only had (say) $1 million in malpractice coverage - but the jury (not of my peers, btw, they specifically would exclude physicians from the panel) decided that the right amount of recompense was $10-million. Everything I owned, everything I would ever make, would go to pay that debt. And the answer isn't increasing the amount of coverage I have: If I had $100-million in coverage (and could afford it) the jury could award a billion.

    It's not just about me - but it's not just about the victim, either.

    Want to fix the problem? Fix the tort system.
     
  10. iomatic

    iomatic Loaded Pockets

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    But doesn't it fall back on a litigious-happy society though? If people were smarter and less inclined, AND we fix the tort system, wouldn't we better protect the 'good' practitioners?
     
  11. aegri_mentis

    aegri_mentis Loaded Pockets

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    You are confusing the issues and using hyperbole here...neither is constructive.
    We are not talking about people acting as professionals here, we are talking about lay persons acting on their own.
    If you act as a layperson, there is no lawsuit insurance to go after, so most people and attorneys would not bother.
    And I, for one, wouldn't care if I did get sued, or even if I lost said lawsuit. I would still do it AGAIN, as I will hot have even the possibility of a person dying or being severly injured, when I could have done something about it.
    Take my money, as my pride means more to me. SOme people don't feel the same way, and that is fine, but no one should feel like someone is picking on them when they offer an unsolicited opinion, and others react to it.
    And you are wrong about EVERYTHING you make going to pay off the debt if you do lose. The last time I checked, wage garnishment to pay off judgements can't exceede 25% of the person's take-home pay. It may have changed a little, but you are still left with enough money to exist.
    I can't reform tort law, but I can extend a helping hand to a human being in need. And as I can do it, I will.
     
  12. jfirebalrog

    jfirebalrog Empty Pockets

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    I agree that I am looking at things from a different perspective.As Flight-ER-Doc said there is a lot more than the actual judgment at stake if you do this for a living.Your entire ability to make a living is at stake.

    The case in Mass/Ny? would on the surface seem to be a breach of duty.However there are a lot of unknowns about the case.The two in question were students according to reports.Were they fully trained and getting refreshers or were they fresh off the street and just starting training?Were there ruls/regs in place to keep them from helping?There often are for students.Are there union regs that keep them from helping?Did they have any equipment?What about the seven firemen outside the rest.that also told them to call 911?It would seem there may be a SOP in place for nine people to refuse helping.The world is so complex that snap judgments are very often wrong.

    The line about people being inherently good reminds me of a story about a gangbanger giving his food to a little old lady at the superdome.
    You can't judge the morals of a person based on any single situation,those Emt's that refused to help may well be highly moral and trustworthy,but framed in by a crap system.
     
  13. iomatic

    iomatic Loaded Pockets

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    Are talking to me? I have no idea what you are referring to here with this statement.
     
  14. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Loaded Pockets

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    my name is john smith, i'm from ottawa here is my phone number.

    good luck finding me after i treat someone and they decide to sue for whatever reason, :evilgrin:
     
  15. aegri_mentis

    aegri_mentis Loaded Pockets

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    No, it was for flighterdoc. Whenever I use the quote function, the text starts to jump around as I type.
     
  16. aegri_mentis

    aegri_mentis Loaded Pockets

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    None of those factors matter. Even if they had only one day of training, they probably had more training that anyone else in the area, and they should have helped.
     
  17. jfirebalrog

    jfirebalrog Empty Pockets

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    Maybe not, it often takes several weeks for an EMT student to even get a cpr card due to the amount of time they are required to spend on it.In Medic school we couldn't even do clinical time with a preceptor the entire first semester.
     
  18. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Here's an article from a reputed newspaper that should make things a little clearer.

    Their objection to helping was not that they were unqualified or uncertified. There objection was that they were on break. They were not specifically required to help, so they did absolutely nothing. If union rules prohibited them from rendering aid, then why didn't they just call the situation in? Most likely because they probably would have been instructed to render aid.

    The FDNY sure didn't think they acted correctly:
    Nor did their union rep:
     
  19. Rob72

    Rob72 Loaded Pockets

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    BTDT- I disagree with your premise.
     
  20. Rob72

    Rob72 Loaded Pockets

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    Fundamentally, this debate is boiling down to those who genuinely have something to lose and those who do not. It's easy to state your play when your chips aren't on the table. ;)

    Your statements indiacte that you view the decision to intervene as a moral one- the other side is as well. Is the welfare of my family worth the well-being of someone I do not know- possibly, probably, not. If I choose to intervene (as I have) it is based on a critical assessment of the "victim's" appearance and presentation, and my ability to render aid and leave promptly.

    Sound cold? Remember, those of us in the professions deal with a significant minority population that is committedly anti-social/narcissistic; "evil," if you prefer. "Be as gentle as doves, but as wise as serpents..." I'm comfortable in my personal-professional philosophy.

    Certainly, we may disagree, but you have no right to criticize the decisions of us "others."