The Things One Falls Into…

Mar 10, 2010 by

So I was passing this link on to someone yesterday:

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said a victim’s dying words captured on a cell phone led to the arrests of two teenagers for the murder of two other young people at a West Bank playground.

Normand said one of the victims named the suspects in the ambulance on the way to the hospital before he died on the night of the shooting, which happened Sunday in the 500 block of Dandelion Drive in Waggaman.

Normand recognized the deputy’s quick work in the case.

“Deputy Patton had the wherewithal to utilize his cellphone and the video recorder on that cell phone to take the dying declaration. I wanted to point that out, the good thinking and good police work.”

…and a New Orleans area EMS worker brought up the stickiness of the “good police work” for medical workers in light of the HIPAA laws concerning patient privacy.

I know I’d be fired and sued and probably jailed for recording a patient’s testimony, dying or not…I might even be fired for ALLOWING the deputy to record a patient in my ambulance…That’s not a Louisiana thing, it applies to anyone involved in medicine. HIPPA law prevents any public images or specifics about patients.

So, hmmm, let me try to get this straight:

I’m just saying…this kind of thing could be misused and the health care professionals’d be taking the hit…and the way things are going with the SE Louisiana police forces’ misconduct, the officers would probably get wrist-slaps. Ugh

Not to mention…how admissible is this in court? I mean, it sounds like test case-o-rama to me.

So Sean Fitzmorris, local EMS worker and admin for the New Orleans EMTs  Sound Off! blog, found some documentation that says HIPAA laws guaranteeing the privacy of patients don’t have to apply in every situation….but Fitzmorris opened the discussion up in his neck of the interwebs and got some interesting responses from the EMS community.  Go have a read…

…and then tell me what you think.


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