In response to Up To, and Including, DEATH – The Anguish of Happy Medic is this comment from Garrett –
Upfront, I will admit that I’ve used similar phrasing and thought it stupid at the time. I think a big part of this comes not just from the litigious nature of US society, but in the uncertainly in the litigation process.
In other words, it is based on fear of the unknown.
How does that produce a reasonable approach?
I can just see it now: a minor cut which is treated with a 2×2 and tape. Done. However, a small clot gets jostled and makes its way to the brain leading to COMA and DEATH!
Please provide a real example of coma death because EMS was providing accurate informed consent/refusal information, rather than a prophesy of the death of the patient.
Otherwise, I assume that the example is an urban legend, made up to justify superstitious behavior.
On the witness stand:
“Did you let my patient know that they could have died without advanced medical treatment?”
“No – that’s highly unlikely and would only cause extra anxiety for the patient.”
“So unlikely that it … happened this time? Tell me, how do you explain that to her Poor, Orphaned children?”
When did that happen?
We should stick to Happy Medic‘s intelligent description of the possible complications.
If I am in court, my defense will be real, not a fairy tale.
But I used the magic incantation! This is not likely to convince a jury that you are a responsible person, but it may convince them that you are responsible for a bad outcome.
Why ignore real risks to the patient over some fixation on imaginary risks to you?
We are there to take care of the real patient, not our phobias.
That’s the problem – the odds of death occurring are pretty much the same as the odds of me having to testify about it.
Please provide evidence to support your claim.
Since this is just making up stories to scare kids sitting around the camp fire, we are just being silly.
We are ignoring reality and looking for a magic incantation to provide a cone of protection from lawyers.
This is how we lower standards in EMS.
In a decade, or two, I expect each EMS provider to be wearing a reflective vest, a helmet (with a flashing light on the helmet), and something that makes a sound like a backup alarm at all times. Maybe there will be a warning of Danger! EMS provider. Danger! along with the beeping. Someone could trip over an EMS provider!
As for refusals, they will be done by video link with a PA (Physician Assistant), because we have demonstrated that EMS is not capable of providing appropriate information for a person to make an informed decision about accepting/refusing care.
If our goal to avoid responsibility, we are too irresponsible to be allowed near patients.