Healthy Living: Good Samaritan Law
Calling 911 is not enough in some medical emergencies, like the situation in California, when a nurse refused to give CPR to a person at a senior living facility. For this edition of Healthy Living, Geoff Redick has more about medical situations in which people aren’t willing to help.
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NATIONWIDE -- In many medical emergencies, just calling 911 is enough. Sometimes though, a medical emergency requires more attention. That's why some 911 dispatchers are baffled over what happened in California, when a nurse refused to give CPR to a person at a senior living facility.
"I think what you're hearing is the 911 operator's frustration coming through, because I think in all likelihood, she feels this patient could be helped, and no one's willing to help," said John Merklinger, Rochester Emergency Dispatch Director.
Merklinger knows plenty of people suffer cardiac arrest each day. He also knows, some people just won't help.
"We do have, on occasion, where something happens out in the street and the people aren't willing to help," said Merklinger.
"Some of the rumors that no matter what they do, will lead them to be subject to a lawsuit, are just overblown," said legal analyst Bob Brenna.
Many states have a Good Samaritan Law, so that this doesn't have to happen.
"The Good Samaritan Law exists to allow people who are trained professionally, to be able to come to the aid of somebody who is in a crisis, without fear that they might be sued," said Brenna.
It also removes liability for citizens who attempt emergency medical care, without thought of personal profit. In many situations it's more safe to help, than not.
"There can be liability for failure to act, because someone asserted control over the situation and then failed to do anything to help the person," said Brenna.
For more information visit: heartsafeam.com.