Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

More on Abandonment, OHP and EMS

In the comments to Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Creek Nation EMS, and Abandonment, there is some continuing disagreement about abandonment. New York City’s Watchdog writes:

I think I may have already said this, but I can understand why the paramedic was resistant to being placed under arrest, since there was no equal or higher medical authority for him to transfer care therefore leaving him as the responsible party.

As the responsible party, it is the medic’s duty to the patient to behave responsibly. Fighting with, or resisting, the police is not responsible behavior. The medic can do much more to de-escalate the situation if he remains calm and reasons with the troopers. Fighting does not do anything to provide for the safety of the patient. Fighting endangers the patient.

If you really think that the troopers cannot be reasoned with, then the troopers might not have any problem fighting with the medic in the patient compartment, on top of the patient. Would that be in any way helpful to the patient?

Choosing to fight with the police is abandoning the patient.

I suspect that the medic realized this and that is why he stopped resisting. He might have been successful at resisting, but what happens during that struggle?

If the troopers are controlling the medic, how is he helping the patient?

If the troopers feel they are not controlling the medic, do the troopers use weapons?

What weapons do they use?

What danger do these weapons present to not just the medic and the patient, but to everyone around them?

If you believe that the troopers cannot be reasoned with, then you have to consider that unreasonable troopers might not stop short of shooting somebody. For example, if the medic’s partner steps in and is shot. Accidentally or intentionally. Are things now better?

Escalating to violence does not help the patient, no matter how wrong the trooper is in attempting to arrest the medic.

I’m not sure what OK law is regarding transferring care to a lower level, so I’m assuming it has to be to an equal or higher.

Resisting arrest is a crime, regardless of whether the arrest is justified.

The police were making a big mistake. That does not justify EMS in making big mistakes, too.

You may think that common sense would dictate that if indeed he allowed himself to be taken into custody that he would no longer be held liable for the well being of the patient,

I never wrote that if indeed he allowed himself to be taken into custody that he would no longer be held liable for the well being of the patient. I wrote that he is more likely to do a good job of caring for the patient by not resisting the police.

Look again at the possibilities, when the medic resists.

1. The medic is injured to the point, where the medic cannot continue to care for the patient. This is not abandonment with your approach to being arrested? The medic chose to fight, rather than advocate for the patient.

2. Family members jump in and get seriously injured, possibly leading to dramatically increased distress for the patient, worsening of the patient condition, and resulting in more patients needing care.

3. Police are injured while the medic is resisting. When there is a 10-13 call, how long does it take for more police to arrive? Given that the number of police on scene was increasing during the few minutes recorded, it is unreasonable to expect that the troopers will not soon have more help. What about the medic? Is he going to be getting any reinforcements? Is the outcome likely to be different if the medic resists successfully?

Yes, the big difference is that then the police are less likely to listen to anything he says.

The most important word in this situation is De-escalation. That is the way to deal with violent/potentially violent situations. Is there an exemption for a chance to hit a cop?

but common sense would also dictate that a law enforcement officer should not delay an ambulance crew from delivering a patient to the emergency room. Apparently common sense is in very short supply from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and therefore it is safe to assume that it would also be in short supply in their other law enforcement and judicial agencies.

If I want to find excuses to be violent, I do not have to be very creative. I think that trooper 606 demonstrates that. How does this help my patient?

Considering your cab and “run for it” examples, had he been placed in the patrol car, and then driven away from the scene, would you consider that abandonment?

It is not a given that if he does not resist, he will be driven from the scene in the trooper’s car.

The result of the medic ceasing his resistance was what led to a dialogue. That dialogue led to a resolution of the situation with the medic continuing care of the patient. It could have been quite different if the medic had continued to resist.

Just because things did work out, this time, does not mean that there would be the same result in a different situation.

The trooper attempting to arrest a medic caring for a patient is something that should not happen anywhere. That does not justify the medic abandoning responsibility for the care of the patient to engage in a fight with troopers – even if the troopers really deserve a beating.

The medic realized that his initial response, to resist and go to the patient, was not going to work out in the favor of his patient. He chose to cease his resisting. In stead of physically resisting, he reasoned with the troopers, as he should. This was the best choice for the patient.

This is about what is best for the patient.

The medic did what was right for the patient, although he seemed as if he wanted to take the troopers over his knee. The medic, Critical Care Paramedic Maurice White Jr., is to be commended for his self control and for putting his patient first.

The most complete information still seems to be from STATter911.

No charges to be filed in Oklahoma confrontation between trooper and EMS. DA wants incident to be used to open a dialogue. Urges OHP to release video.

STATter911 has half a dozen different links to statements from people involved. There are also links to news coverage.

OHP vs. Creek Nation EMS from the beginning, post by post:

Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Creek Nation EMS, and Abandonment 5/31/09

More on Abandonment, OHP and EMS 6/06/09

OHP Trooper Update 6/11/09

OHP Trooper Update II 6/11/09

OHP Trooper Update III 6/13/09

OHP Trooper Update IV – Holy Stammering Obscurantists 6/16/09

OHP Trooper Update V – Over an Hour of the Holy Stammering Obscurantist 6/17/09

OHP Trooper vs. EMS comment from anonymous 6/18/09

Some Corrections on OHP vs. Creek Nation EMS 6/20/09

OHP Trooper Update VI – A little Background on the Participants 6/22/09

OHP Trooper Update VII – A Little More Background on the Participants 6/22/09

Daniel Martin Suspended for 5 Days 6/22/09

Trooper Daniel Martin Subject of a Lawsuit 7/22/09

OHP Official Position – Don’t Get Caught On Camera, Otherwise Good Job. 7/23/09

An Interesting Development in the Daniel Martin Case 7/24/09

Trooper Daniel Martin In Trouble, Again 10/06/09

Maurice White Arrested 01/11/10


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