Dear All: a question was posed to me today as I was giving a lecture on malpractice and legal issues.
When an ambulance calls and wants advice from any of us as on line medical directors and the patient/patient's guardian refuses being taken to the hospital, do you
1. Take it upon yourself to tell the EMTs to restrain the patient and bring them to you? (This is after trying to sweet talk them into being transferred and they feel strongly the patient needs to be seen.
2. Do you let them walk? You don't really have a relationship with the patient (yet)
3. If it is a parent and you feel strongly their child needs to be transported to the hospital do you have them call the police? Take custody of the child?
What are your opinions regarding having a treating relationship with the patient - you really don't yet. Or you have given some orders and you do have an indirect treating relationship with the patient?
What are the legal implications?
Food for thought!
Julia Whitefield MD, Ph.D.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
For more information, send mail to [log in to unmask] with the message: info PED-EM-L
The URL for the PED-EM-L Web Page is: