I read this article from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette as well as many of the follow-on comments that were posted.
On the surface, this looks like a serious shit-storm; anytime a death like this happens and EMS providers are involved there is huge fallout. If I were part of this man’s family I suspect I would also be taking the same actions that they are. And if the two Paramedics in question are guilty of doing what they’ve been accused of doing, then losing their jobs is the least that could have happened to them.
However, something really bothers me about this. This is about two Paramedics that really, truly screwed up. It should not be an indictment on the rest of us who do our jobs properly and to the best of our abilities, who write proper documentation, and most importantly, follow the prime rule we have as health care providers: First Do No Harm. I know so many EMS providers who exemplify this rule – they are good at what they do, and they care. They don’t do things which could hurt their patients. And they don’t lie on the reports they write.
Last thing: I know a few people that work for Worcester EMS – technically, it is U. Mass. Memorial EMS, but they cover the city of Worcester – and those that I know are very good at what they do. They work insane schedules and have really high call volumes, and they do deal with a lot of people that abuse the system. I can sympathize with that as this sort of thing exists almost everywhere. With that said, it doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to mis-treat a person they are charged with taking care of, regardless of the circumstances.
Comments are welcome and encouraged. If there is more to the story, and anyone knows that, I would like very much to hear it. Because there is nothing that bothers me more than hearing stories like this one. It gives the rest of us – who try hard to do things right – a bad rap.