Quote# 84502

I currently work as a paramedic. When the need arises, I must be able to provide sufficient care to any patient, or be able to refuse patient care if I deem that the area I'm in isn't safe enough. While working a few weeks ago, a lady had fallen, fractured her pelvis, broke a leg, had internal bleeding, and I had to treat her accordingly.

While treating her at her home, I was making small talk with her in an effort to ensure that she felt safe. She eventually laid back and asked if I was a church going person, to which I replied truthfully that I wasn't. This upset her so much, that she refused care from us any longer. She said,"I don't want a dirty athiest to be near me". Legally, if someone without any type of altered mental status refuses care, I cannot provide it. I asked her again, her family, and my medical director in attempts to change her mind, and I informed her of the circumstances. She still refused, so I had to get her to sign the proper documentation and then I left.

Shoot forward two days, and I learned that this woman had died due to internal bleeding, and cardial failure caused by the extraneous bleeding. At this moment, I feel extremely guilty because I was supposed to be caring for her. I didn't think it would be that much of a problem to her, knowing her provider at the moment wasn't a follower of religion. Now, I have to go to court for it. Her husband is attempting to sue(it won't go through since I have all the proper documents and followed proper protocols. Also, the Good Samaritan Laws help)since he thinks I'm the reason she passed.

Seriously? This is one of the reasons I think people shouldn't take on a religious belief. Not only do I have to go to court, but I feel extremely guilty this happened over a trivial matter.

anonymous fundie woman, reddit.com 116 Comments [10/26/2011 3:30:24 AM]
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"I don't want a dirty athiest to be near me".

That quote shows how superficially and undifferentiated that woman thought.

Did she spend her whole life interviewing those around her about their faith or lack of it? Did she ask every waiter at every restaurant? Did she ask about the chef? The list would be endless.

Let's look at the case at hand.

Did the woman realize that most of the instruments the paramedic had with him were produced by (most probably) non-christians in far-eastern countries? Even if the paramedic had been a pious brother in faith, his life saving tools still may have reeked of heathens.

A lot of the medication he had was produced in India by Hindus, even if they had the label of an American company on the packaging. Did she think about that?

Did she know that the uniforms were made by "communists" in China?

What about her house? I'll match any bet that her house is chuck full of items produced by by non-christians. Just imagine, her tampons/sanitary napkins may have been made by a Muslim!

Even from her perverted viewpoint, reducing her concern to the person of a paramedic is idiotic and culpably inconsistent.

Damn it, I hate stupidity.

Hey, fundemantalists, once you pass those outer labia, you ain't in Kansas anymore, even if you're in Kansas. Grow up.

10/26/2011 12:18:13 PM


Countersue for court costs.

10/26/2011 12:19:21 PM


I would not call anything that involves the court trivial.

10/26/2011 12:41:39 PM


It's just possible that the accident made her decision-making capabilities even less logical that they were normally.
If she'd been unconscious, she could have been treated by anyone.

What's the judge gonna say? The paramedic should have lied? He should have treated her against her will? This case should not even go to court. If it were a Muslim man who refused to let a woman paramedic treat him, there wouldn't be any case.

10/26/2011 12:59:59 PM


Get yer hands off me you damned dirty atheist!

But on a more serious note, she didn't ask if the medic was christian, just if they went to church. They could have been atheist, or deist, or agnostic, but does it really fucking matter?

10/26/2011 1:11:18 PM

Know that...

It's a person's right to refuse medical care for any reason no matter how stupid.

10/26/2011 1:20:59 PM

This case shouldn't even get to court. That husband's lawyer should take one look at the treatment refusal form and tell him that she signed it refusing treatment, so he doesn't have any grounds for a case.

The thing that scares me is thinking of this poor paramedic actually having to go to trial and ending up with a jury of fundy xtians who would find him liable just because he's an atheist.

10/26/2011 1:32:31 PM


You guys do know that this is a made up story, right?

10/26/2011 1:37:30 PM


Why didn't Jesus heal her? Surely it's his fault she's dead. Why isn't the family suing their church?

10/26/2011 1:49:08 PM


I wish more religious people would do the same - weed out the gene pool so to speak!

10/26/2011 1:54:09 PM


Said paramedic has my sympathy, and said fundie woman does not.

Here's a little piece of advice for the next time a similar situation comes up:

Crazy fundie patient: Are you a church-going person?

Sane paramedic: Not currently - I'm looking for one that suits me better.

Crazy fundie patient will now talk the ear off the sane paramedic about how wonderful their church is and how the sane paramedic should come, they would just luuuurrrrve it, and before you know it - bang! Treatment is all done, sane paramedic doesn't have to see the crazy fundie patient ever again, and the crazy fundie patient feels all warm and fuzzy for proselytizing.


Look at crazy fundie patient and say very calmly, "Salvation is not defined by church membership. I am not a "dirty" atheist. (This would be a true statement, because I'm sure the paramedic showers every day.) Now, shall we continue treatment?

Then if crazy fundie continues, it's her own damn fault she dies.

10/26/2011 1:57:20 PM


I have a hard time believing this is a true story.

Unless the patient clearly states that she doesn't want treatment at all -- rather than not wanting treatment from a particular guy -- then every paramedic unit I've ever heard of would dispatch a second ambulance. Yeah, the lady is an idiot and a bigot, but the goal is to get the injured person to a hospital, not to decide whether she deserves help.

Also, most real paramedics understand how Good Samaritan laws work, and would know that they have nothing to do with this situation.

10/26/2011 2:04:09 PM


Don't blame yourself; you can't cure stupidity, and if this woman put her religious beliefs and bigotry before her own well being, she got what she wanted. It's just a shame that getting what she wanted led to her death, but I suppose one could consider it karma for being an ass to someone trying to help treat your injuries.

10/26/2011 2:04:26 PM


It could be argued that such nutty religious fanaticism is an altered mental state...

... but then, this paramedic could have saved her life in spite of her wishes.

10/26/2011 2:25:30 PM


I really hate it that you guys are snipping at ALL religious people. Not all of us are like this woman. (And STOP comparing all religions to Christian Fundies)

10/26/2011 2:42:12 PM


"Refused care from us" I take it the other paramedic is also an athiest?

10/26/2011 2:59:38 PM

Philbert McAdamia

@ Anon-e-moose
"Act of God"
What I was thinking. Not his fault that "Jesus called her home". You'd think if these fundies believed in thier death cult they'd be happy whenever one of their own crosses over to the promised land, but oh no, there will be such a wailing and a gnashing of teeth.

@ Joe Mama
If there is another one just like him, he must also be in a hole.

10/26/2011 3:22:55 PM


She has two broken bones and is bleeding internally, a serious - in fact apparently fatal - condition...so the paramedic is making small talk with her at her house while treating her himself, not getting her to a hospital, not waiting for another ambulance (which would have picked her up even if she'd told him personally not to touch her) and apparently without a partner who might treat her instead. Furthermore, knowing that she's clearly had a bad fall in which she may also have hit her head, and knowing she may be bleeding to death (which can affect the brain), an extreme overreaction to a personal detail that she can't possibly demand from everyone she interacts with was taken as an informed refusal of care, rather than a possible indication of altered mental state.

I'm not a paramedic. Maybe that's standard procedure. Maybe potentially fatal uncontrolled internal bleeding is a home-repair kit thing, not a surgery thing. But until I get an expert telling me that that is in fact the reality, I'm taking this with a heap of salt.

10/26/2011 3:41:49 PM

such compassion

Better to let the evil Christians die than let them preach to you. Classy.

10/26/2011 4:07:16 PM

Atomic Flamethrowing Vagina

@such compassion

S/he didn't "let" her die. The woman refused care, even after the paramedic tried to convince her otherwise.

10/26/2011 4:49:16 PM


Also, the Good Samaritan Laws

Ironically, the story of the Good Samaritan should have convinced her to accept help.

Also, I'm shocked she didn't use that opportunity to evangelize. It would certainly have seemed "called for."

10/26/2011 4:55:57 PM


In fact, it was one of my own law professors, decades ago, who established the principle that a legally competent person who is lucid has a right to refuse medical treatment, regardless of the consequences. In this case, I don't know if "acceptable" backup was available, or if they could be spared. If this woman in fact died two days later, then either she or her husband refused to seek further treatment for her. Depending on your jurisdiction, even in a case of negligence, that is either contributory or comparative negligence. It is possible in many jurisdictions to countersue for abuse of process even before a verdict; in all events, a zero award entitles the defendant to file a separate suit afterwards for vexatious litigation/ malicious prosecution. I hope this is helpful.

10/26/2011 5:09:53 PM


Even though it's not your fault, you should talk to a mental health professional to clear your head. This is the sort of person who, if you had treated her, would have refused treatment from a Jewish doctor at the hospital.
@checkmate: Mary Ann.

10/26/2011 5:54:29 PM


You have nothing to feel guilty about. End of story.

10/26/2011 6:02:07 PM



When she was 16, my wife was in a very bad car accident one Sunday afternoon. The fundie paramedic criticized her for not going to church, and told her that she should thank Jesus that she was wearing her seat belt.

I got similar treatment once. While recovering from a serious car accident that has left me near crippled and 23 surgeries to make sure I'll only spend the rest of my life in moderate to severe pain (As opposed to excruciating and unbearable pain) the hospital chaplin decided it was his personal mission to convert me to Jesus. The one thing he said that I will never forget was "At least Jesus was in that car with you to protect you. You better make sure you are thankful for that."

10/26/2011 6:22:03 PM

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