Another WTF moment – UPDATED.

Last night I watched the reporting about a most unfortunate case where an old lady died because a nurse refused to do CPR, and all I can say is that people need to back off. Everyone is angry at this nurse for doing exactly what she is expected to do. The problem is not with the nurse, but with our litigious society. When lawyers are ready to sue anyone for everything, you can’t blame those most likely to end up as their targets for protecting themselves.

I am certain that the nurse followed the policies established by the facility she worked at. And said facility decided to implement those policies to basically avoid the legal risk it would expose them to. I know someone that was sued by a scumbag, after he saved said scumbag’s life, simply because that scumbag wanted money and a lawyer showed up and told him he could get it. I have been loath myself of providing any kind of aid specifically because of these kinds of bottom feeders.

Look, we can’t have it both ways. If we want people to help, we have to get rid of the system that rewards those that turn on those people willing or qualified to help. It is one thing to seek redress for clear medical malpractice, and it is another thing completely to seek financial gain from any tragedy. I am sure the ambulance chasers will find a way to milk even this situation where the nurse followed the rules and did what was expected of her. Especially with the authorities now also involved.

I am not an evil bastard. I feel sorry for the lady that passed away. But I also feel for the nurse that had her hands tied behind her back and did the right thing. I am sure that had she violated the rules of her employer she would be out on the street, a lawsuit on her hand regardless of if she had saved the old lady’s life or not, with most people not caring about her faith. This is truly a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

UPDATE: I heard today on the news that the family of old lady that died was absolutely happy with the nurse’s response, because they said that the old lady had not wanted to be revived. I admit I am surprised they are not looking for a payday considering the furor this has created. More power to them. Not a chance this nurse gets off without having her life ruined by someone in or tied to government however.

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  1. AlexInCT *

    Good samaritan laws are what you’re thinking of.

    Actually the way it was explained to me these only apply to doctors and certain other medical professionals and was precisely why the place this nurse worked at had the rules it did. More importantly, even with these laws, it can’t prevent some asshole from suing you and forcing you to pay lawyer costs, even if they never get the case in court, let alone win it, Hal.

    It is real difficult to quantify the line between helping and doing harm when even people that should be greatful for help believe the new American dream is getting a payday from a lawsuit and go after the person that saved their lives.

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  2. FPrefect89

    Actually the way it was explained to me these only apply to doctors and certain other medical professionals and was precisely why the place this nurse worked at had the rules it did.

    Actually Good Samaritan laws apply to non-professionals. The reasoning behind them is that a first responder will take time to respond to a scene and if there is somebody qualified to perform a task; first aid, CPR, etc., that person cannot be held liable for performing the task as trained. In the early 90’s I performed CPR on somebody prior to the paramedics arriving. I ended up almost going to court to fight the fact that I broke some ribs in the process of saving the sorry sack of craps life. It did not go very far, mainly because of the lawyer I had gotten reminded the other of the Good Samaritan laws.

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  3. AlexInCT *

    In the early 90′s I performed CPR on somebody prior to the paramedics arriving. I ended up almost going to court to fight the fact that I broke some ribs in the process of saving the sorry sack of craps life. It did not go very far, mainly because of the lawyer I had gotten reminded the other of the Good Samaritan laws.

    if the law held the SOBs that sued financially liable despite the good samaritan law, I would not have written about this incident. That you had to get a lawyer and pay for it to make this go away is a big problem. They probably figured your pockets where not deep enough and either gave up or went after someone else. In the case of any entity they figure has money, insurnace, or both though, they would not give up that easily. And that’s where the system breaks. We need to make assholes that are just looking for a quick payday pay.

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  4. FPrefect89

    That you had to get a lawyer and pay for it to make this go away is a big problem. They probably figured your pockets where not deep enough and either gave up or went after someone else.

    Fortunately, I had a friend who recommended me the lawyer I got for this. He did not charge me anything because if it had gone to court, because it was a civil case and at the time, you could make the loser pay costs, he took the case and it was over with one letter to the SOB’s lawyer.

    As for deep pockets, I don’t know if he thought I had them. I was bussing tables where it happened. Not exactly a target for a lawsuit.

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