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Versed injection as a police weapon

  1. Aug 26, 2008 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    http://www.wsmv.com/news/16844880/detail.html

    It surprised me to read about this. I wonder if Nashville is the only city where this is done.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
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  3. Aug 26, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    Wow, I've never heard such a thing before either. I'd be very concerned about shooting up people with drugs...you never know what adverse effects it might have. And, when it's an amnesic, it leaves you wondering about things like forced confessions the person won't remember later.
     
  4. Aug 26, 2008 #3

    turbo

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    Really!! The dumb b*tch that administered the drugs ahead of my colonoscopy said things like "OK, here comes the sleepy medicine..." and I wanted to slap the condescending idiot. By the time the procedure was over, I might have kissed her as I was waking up, if she had asked nicely.
     
  5. Aug 26, 2008 #4

    LowlyPion

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    What troubles me is the guy that advocates its use and calls himself a biomedical ethicist. Personally I'd say its a violation of personal rights to inject any medication willy nilly like that absent consent. Not to mention the potential for wrongful death or consequential liability incurred by any adverse reaction or heaven forbid the transmission of aids to a defendant or even a police officer from a defendant coming out of some general brouhaha. in which a used needle inadvertently punctured another person.

    The drug salesman must have gotten a sweet bonus though for the sale.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2008 #5

    Evo

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    It says
    So it's not the police giving the injection. The police are calling paramedics and asking them to assess the individual and make the call.

    They are recognizing the difference between someone just violent that needs to be thrown in the slammer and needs to be arrested and someone with a medical/mental condition.

    The guy in the article that was treated was not charged by the police because they treated it as a medical issue instead.

    Personally, if I was flipping out, I would rather be treated by EMTs and given a sedative rather than be handcuffed and then thrown into a jail cell, especially if I was mentally incapactitated at the time. Medical care would by far be my preference.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  7. Aug 26, 2008 #6
  8. Aug 26, 2008 #7

    Evo

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    Edward, please find a drug that doesn't have interactions or side effects. :biggrin:

    Most of my medications can't be taken with alcohol, two of them list "sudden death" as a side effect and an antibiotic I took once listed "sudden death" if taken with alcohol!

    I guess "sudden death" is preferable to "slow death" though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  9. Aug 26, 2008 #8

    LowlyPion

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    So we'll take this then as your medical release to be injected involuntarily if necessary, at the diagnosis and sole discretion of someone who is not a trained medical physician?
     
  10. Aug 26, 2008 #9

    Evo

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    Uhm, they "ARE" trained EMT's. Did you not read the article? The police are merely calling an ambulance and letting the EMT's take over. "THAT" is the change in the police policy. Police are now recognizing that some people may be having medical problems and calling for medical help instead of throwing the person into a jail cell. OY! :rolleyes:
     
  11. Aug 27, 2008 #10
    So I suppose you would prefer being forcibly restrained and hogtied if ever you have a mental break and let the cops just hope you don't injure yourself?

    I've heard about this before and I don't find it all that suprizing or unethical. I wonder how many times police departments were sued for allowing a prisoner to inflict serious harm upon themselves before they were allowed this option.

    Something similar, yet more unethical in my opinion, that I have learned about California law recently is that it is illegal to refuse a test of your blood alcohol content if pulled over by the police. If you refuse they arrest you, take you in, forcibly strap you down, and take your blood. Then, since you refused, you get to go to jail regardless of the outcome of the test.
     
  12. Aug 27, 2008 #11
    the hell it is. give me a long slow death every time. about 100 years or so should be just about slow enough for me
     
  13. Aug 27, 2008 #12

    Moonbear

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    EMTs and paramedics aren't the same thing.

    Regardless, using something like Versed in the field without a full medical evaluation is NOT good medicine. Paramedics are not diagnosticians, they are just there to get someone to the hospital for evaluation, and if the medication they are giving in the field could complicate the case or would hinder diagnosis (wait until it wears off before a proper psychiatric evaluation can be done, when you don't even know if it's the right drug for that patient), then it is NOT an ethical medical practice. Paramedics and physicians are not in the job of law enforcement. If they can hold someone still enough to give them an i.v. injection (that's how Versed is given), then they can hold them still enough to put restraints on them and transport them to the hospital for proper evaluation.

    The really disturbing and concerning things in the story are parts like this:
    This is probably the real reason this guy was never charged...they realized they wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting a court to consider evidence when they had someone signing forms without awareness of what they were signing. When someone is treated with Versed, they can look perfectly awake and aware, be capable of signing forms, giving confessions, etc., but really still be quite loopy and then never remember a bit of what happened while they were under the influence. If for some reason it's determined a person requires a shot of a narcotic out in the field, from the moment the injection is given, they should be treated as a patient with medical rights and under medical care and completely separated from police...no having police handing them forms to sign or trying to conduct interviews.

    This is another concerning part:
    What if the reaction is an overreaction, and excessive force is being used? You've just rendered the person incapable of testifying against the officers. They damn well better be videotaping every moment of this if they have left someone unable to defend themself.

    And, it's being used in situations contraindicated by the medication inserts, in other words, for off-label, non-FDA-approved uses. A physician can make that decision to prescribe a medication for off-label use, but will also be legally liable for malpractice if it turns out to be a bad decision. A paramedic should NOT be departing from SOPs for treatment...they are not trained to the level of making those sorts of diagnoses or judgement calls. If they need to depart from approved drug uses, it should ONLY be in consultation with a physician.
     
  14. Aug 27, 2008 #13

    Evo

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    In agreement with all you say, and perhaps a milder sedative would be more appropriate, I don't know what their reason for choosing Versed was. Do they need to sedate or completely knock the person out?

    It's not ideal, but then, trying to take down a violent crazy person without them harming themselves or others never is. I would have to know more about exactly what the situation was before I could pass judgement. I could see this guy filing a lawsuit if they had thrown him in jail when he needed medical treatment.

    I just know that of the two options, being mentally incapacitated and thrown in jail or being sedated and taken to the ER, I would choose the latter.

    I would assume that Versed is only given in extreme cases, like the one mentioned in this article. Perhaps Berkeman can give us his perspective since he is an EMT?
     
  15. Aug 27, 2008 #14
    Whats wrong with tasers? Its better than getting shot isn't it? Mase is still good too, why do police have to be so nice to criminals?
     
  16. Aug 27, 2008 #15
    because they are humans
     
  17. Aug 27, 2008 #16
    With enough adrenaline, meth, or speed in the blood stream; mace, bean bag shots, and even tasers are completely useless. You should never underestimate what people are capable of in a drasticly altered state of mind.
     
  18. Aug 27, 2008 #17
    but how does this stuff help take down a violent crazy person? If it has to be given in an IV then they have already got the guy taken down. It's pretty difficult to get an IV in if the guy is jumping around like a mad man
     
  19. Aug 27, 2008 #18
    Load it into darts?
     
  20. Aug 27, 2008 #19

    LowlyPion

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    Sure I read the article. And it's a slippery slope you're playing on. You're citing an anecdotal about one case where one individual was seen to be in medical distress and they may or may not have been treated in a medically satisfactory way.

    But what you lay bare and seem satisfied to deploy is a tool - the administration of drugs in the field - at the discretion of police and relatively untrained EMTs or paramedics - a system that relies on indeterminately trained individuals and the opportunity for abuse and misuse is far greater than immediate benefit.

    How do you weigh a loss of life or reduction to vegetative state against the convenience of placing an individual under control with less effort? And if you think that judgment won't be made in the field then I think you have an idealized view of people placed in such positions.

    How do you weigh the Hippocratic Oath against the convenience of momentary control? Just what is best for a patient? And who is to make that judgment? I see it as a very slippery slope, and hence I am quite surprised that the doctor quoted, would be so blithe about its use and so ready to call himself a biomedical ethicist.
     
  21. Aug 27, 2008 #20

    LowlyPion

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    And so into an indeterminate pharmaceutical cocktail already swirling in the blood stream, you are going to add another narcotic?

    Into the maelstrom of a physical struggle you are going to ask someone to inject a dose?

    There are too many things that can go wrong that far outweigh the things that can go right.
     
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