Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hoping I Never Ride in an Ambulance

I couldn't not post this as soon as I saw it because it's just too disgusting:
Ambulance Attendants Accused of Molesting Patients

What kind of country/world do we live in where this is even a possibility?! You'd think that in a situation where a person is most defenseless -- in an ambulance, presumably en route to the hospital because of an emergency -- that would be the safest place to be. The people in the ambulance with you are supposed to be the ones there to help you. You basically have to put all your trust in them, whether you're conscious or not, because there's nowhere for you to go and nothing for you to do.

So to learn that almost 130 ambulance attendants have been accused of molestation just in an 18-month period is appalling. For one, if 130 were accused, how many others have been molesting patients without being accused? Then there's the fact that it's 130 attendants, not 130 times, meaning it's quite likely that many of those attendants had done it before they were finally accused. In fact, the article mentions one man pleaded guilty to five counts of molestation! This is also the number of attendants accused, yet it's unclear what the fate of most of these attendants is/was.

I have to say, though, that as shocked and disgusted as I was while reading about this, I was completely unprepared for the quote from the EMS director in Delaware:
"Is even one case tolerable? I think most state directors would say no. But we're bound by reality here."
Could he not think of a better way of wording this? "Most" state directors would say no?? I would hope that ALL state directors would admit that even one case of molestation is intolerable. In fact, I would hope that all EMTs (minus the perverts themselves, I guess) would find one case of molestation intolerable. And, no, you're not "bound" by reality. Sure, there is a reality that exists that you're striving to change, but saying you're "bound by reality" is like saying "hey, this is really messed up and, you know, ILLEGAL, but my hands are tied b/c that's just the way things are." Somebody please fire or impeach this man as soon as possible.

But I guess I live in some crazy world where privacy should be protected, stranger's bodies are not public domain, and sexual assault should be punished. Sorry, what on earth was I thinking?

(Cross-posted at Jump off the Bridge)


habladora said...

Wow, Sally, this is a truly saddening and disturbing story. How does this happen - aren't there generally more than one attendants in an ambulance with any patient? This is the last thing you should have to worry about if you're in need of medical assistance.

CA NOW said...

We linked to this in a post at the CA NOW blog, "Health Care Crisis Worsens, But There's Still a Chance to Fix It"