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'm not sure in the veracity of this. In some ways, it just doesn't smell right. Partially because I have a hard time believing that someone would be this stupid... but also because I'd think that another ambulance or at least another paramedic was on the way...

Maybe another paramedic did show up later... maybe even right after... and she ended up dying anyway. Maybe she would still have died had the Paramedic been allowed to help.

But... hmm...

Still, if it is true I can understand the guilt. It isn't deserved guilt but that happens to humans all the time. And it speaks volumes for the paramedic's character that they are expressing guilt and distress rather than jubilant "I told you so's!"

10/26/2011 7:47:16 PM

Percy Q. Shunn

Perhaps the state should sue the widower for being married to a stupid old cunt.

10/26/2011 8:19:24 PM


I have to agree with Extraintrovert at #1343990: This just seems too stupid to be true. The facts that Reynardine at #1344157 brought up make me a little more suspicious.

10/26/2011 8:25:01 PM

all you can do legally is accept her choice BUT make it very clear to her and any family or friends that she needs to go to the hospital emergency room, or if possible arrange another ambilance and paramedic to attend the scene.

There should be no issues at the court case, she refused care and you have that documented. It should be a short case with you exonerated.

10/26/2011 8:47:58 PM


You shouldn't have to go through shit like that.

I'm quite happy that natural selection seems to be working as well as always, but you shouldn't have been dragged into this woman's insanity.

The fact that they think they can sue you for this is sickeningly pathetic.

10/26/2011 8:54:56 PM


I could have sworn we had a rule against anonymous second hand submissions.

10/26/2011 9:28:44 PM


This is tragic. :/

10/26/2011 9:33:41 PM

TB Tabby

How long before the fundies spin this to claim "HE LET HER DIE BECAUSE SHE WAS A CHRISTIAN!"

10/26/2011 11:20:28 PM


Seriously - internal bleeding and she was kept at home. Irrespective of the religious tone, America needs a new healthcare system.

10/27/2011 12:14:50 AM


I wouldn't say that people shouldn't take on a religion, but yeah, I agree that she did a pretty idiotic thing.

Well, at least the husband has no legal power on this since she is the one who refused.

10/27/2011 12:19:14 AM

Poor Paramedic, not his fault but moreo of a fault of stubborness and sheer stupidity of the woman.

10/27/2011 2:43:34 AM

Raised by Horses


We're not snipping at religious people, we're snipping at religion and its ability to influence people to think in such ways as evidenced by the story above. The posters here are well aware that not all religious people are like that. (I should hope they do, anyway).

10/27/2011 3:00:13 AM

Jezebel's Evil Sister

Good story. I doubt it actually happened.

10/27/2011 3:49:09 AM

Tolpuddle Martyr

You offered, she told you to fuck off. Case closed!

10/27/2011 3:54:42 AM

Something smells fishy. What kind of autistic bonehead thinks the truth is more important than a fundies' life? He should have said he was kidding but oh, that would have been inconsistent with his beliefs? Would that kind of stupid ever make it as a paramedic?

It's okay to lie to people to save their lives and to make them feel safe. Social morons wouldn't get this, they need to be special snowflakes even when life and death are involved.

10/27/2011 11:32:22 AM

I don't really believe this story, but it's not like a paramedic would think someone would refuse care just because they're an atheist.

10/27/2011 11:41:56 AM


I disagree. This fear and refusal is something an atheist discovers quickly if they interact with people from all walks of life. Unless this is a very sheltered atheist paramedic, which is very unlikely, there's no reason to believe he would tell the truth to an old woman who brought up religion of all things.

I don't think an old woman deserves to die because she's afraid. Lying is the best option.

10/27/2011 11:51:03 AM

Stella apostata

Even though this may be a fake, there are things like that happening. Maybe not as severe, but still annoying. Like the really strict Muslim guy who refused to look at any of us female docs and nurses in the ER... there was no male doc available and you could see how he was angry. But he didn't refuse treatment, he just creeped us the hell out. Or the girl my former boss treated who couldn't take blood transfusion. She was brought in after a bad accident and they pulled her through with an hb of 2 mg/dl- basically water tinged slightly red. I seriously wonder how they did that, and I won't fault you if you don't believe it.

10/27/2011 12:16:06 PM

Doctor Fishcake

I feel desperately sorry for the paramedic.

And that's about it.

10/28/2011 12:47:43 AM


I buy the story. I've seen people refuse care from minority providers, and had at least one patient react negatively upon accidently discovering I'm an atheist. Religion is not a topic that pops up in normal conversation, and when the patient blindsides you with a question, sometimes you react with the truth instead of trying to figure out if lying is better. In this case it looks like the patient didn't give the medic a chance to clarify before reacting.
As for a backup medic, in the cases above the patients were notified you either take the help offered or refuse care. Or he may be from an agency running too many calls to casually dispatch backup units for fussy patients. I can understand doubts, but I find the story plausible enough to accept.
My sympathies to the medic, who has to go through all the hassles of the legal system. As for the husband, well, if he's a believer then he should be happy his wife is in heaven instead of "suffering" here in this poor polluted earth.

10/28/2011 4:43:56 AM


That was a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the 'Keep the National Health Service State-owned' Party.

10/28/2011 7:08:57 AM


Meh, I don't think this is real....who would just leave a woman with internal bleeding without calling for backup? She didnt want the atheist to treat her. That doesn't disqualify all paramedics.

10/28/2011 12:16:04 PM


Whether this story is true or not, you cannot accept responsibility for other people's utter stupidity. If people refuse medical help on religious and die as a consequence, that's their problem and no skin off my nose.

It is, of course, a totally different matter when they make that decision on behalf of others (usually children) and the person in need dies as a result. Then, you can throw whoever refused assistance into a vat of boiling nuclear waste for all I care.

10/29/2011 12:42:55 AM


Not the paramedics fault!
And I absolutely agree with all Darwin Awards suggestions! This could be a winner!

10/29/2011 3:54:41 AM

The problem was the woman, not you. It's not the first time it happens.

10/29/2011 8:12:21 AM

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