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January 24, 2013


Patient charged with fighting paramedics, squeezing their testicles

(Thanks to Unholy Slacker)


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Well you see, the ambulance's siren was broken, so the guy decided to help the staff improvise...

He just WILL NOT allow ANYONE to take his guns away.

My husband was a paramedic in Oakland for 15 years, and this happened half a dozen times. I never could get him to admit that he squeezed back, but I bet he did.

Isn't that one of the tests for a stroke or similar event:

"squeeze his testicles with your right hand, now squeeze them with your left hand?"

I'm sure NC has used that test.

that's the last time they'll tell a patient 'you may feel a little prick'

It's often a struggle to get your testicles squeezed

Jokes aside, the report is kinda vague. But -- for the lawyers among us... speak up anonymously; we won't hurt you much -- isn't cuffing, strapping to a gurney, and transporting an obviously conscious person who clearly is not consenting to treatment usually considered assault and kidnapping?

I seem to recall a court case or two that said it's OK to use force to resist or prevent a violent felony, but that was probably back in the alternate-universe Bizarro World where we at least pretended the Constitution meant something.

When I was an EMT, I was taught a patient had to be conscious AND alert in order to refuse consent. Someone who is delusional or drugged cannot make that decision. It's a judgement call, so you need good liability insurance -- or a good choke hold.

Like I said, the report's vague. But I notice that none of the charges involve drug use, nor is any "delusional" behavior alleged other than his resisting the use of force. So... obviously conscious, obviously alert, no claim that he was delusional...

Kidnapping. Until/unless someone comes up with more facts to judge by.

Let's go a little further with some hypothetical guesses.Let's say that this guy is a known schizophrenic with a history of not taking his meds and violence, and that the EMTs and police are familiar with him.

If he had become violent*, one could understand why the EMTs would think he needed to be transported. One might even find it understandable that they'd request police assistance. But...

If he has known psychiatric problems requiring medication, then why the criminal charges? The very description by the police in this article would be grounds for finding him mentally incompetent to face charges in that case.

Treatment, yes. Criminal charges, no.

(* Note that the charges do not reflect any alleged criminal activity other than that directed against the people forcibly restraining him. Note that the article describes this as beginning in the apartment, not out on the street where he might be presenting a threat to others. There is no mention of threats or violence offered to anyone else in that apartment. There's not even any mention of him presenting a threat to himself. More facts are definitely called for.)

Leaving it to the state to decide who is crazy and requires involuntary treatment is pretty iffy, too. What's "crazy"? I'm generally libertarian (not Libertarian); I've been called crazy for that. I happen to think it would be a good idea for America to abide by the Constitution; that's been called delusional. In neither case were those claims of mental impairment merely argumentative rhetoric; they were presented by people who professed to believe that anyone who disagrees with them is freaking nuts and should be locked up. The old Soviet Union thought well of the idea. In recent days, victim disarmers have been telling gun owners that simply wanting to own a gun for defensive or hunting purposes is proof of disqualifying mental impairment. (My personal favorite was the guy who admitted that he is being treated for mental problems including impulses to harm himself and others, and that therefore, no one else should be allowed to have defensive tools. Presumably because he feared defensive tools being used against him if/when he succumbed to his self-admitted impulses. But he said I'm crazy.)

Think about it. I now return you to your regularly scheduled Dave Barry snark.

I dated a crazy librarian once.

Isn't that one of the tests for a stroke or similar event:
"squeeze his testicles with your right hand, now squeeze them with your left hand?"
I'm sure NC has used that test.

Now, now Max. How did you know? I would never do that. The best way to tell if you've ever made a paramedic or nurse mad is to look at the gauge of needle they'll be using on you. If it's a 22 gauge you're okay. If it's a 14 gauge, shut up and run!

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