Arrest fatality

26 Nov

Police, MDA pay compensation after arrest fatality
By Roni Singer-Heruti

The police and Magen David Adom (MDA) last week paid NIS 500,000 in compensation to the family of a man who died while being arrested in December 1999.

A judge appointed to investigate the case ruled that the actions of the police officers and medic who arrested Roni Shumar, 34, of Ramat Hasharon, caused his death. See the full article here.

For those of you who do not know how it works here in Israel.. Magen David Adom (MADA) is the national ambulatory service in the country. Here you didn’t call the fire department when you need medical help but you call MADA. They have two types of ambulances- one called the Lavan (white) and one called the Natan (ICU ambulance)
The Lavan ambulance has a driver, a medic and sometimes a teenage volunteer medic (you can start volunteering on the ambulances at the age of 15). The driver is responsible for everything and anything that goes on with the treatment given to the patient.
The NATAN (ICU) has a driver, a paramedic and a doctor on board. This ambulance is sent out when the patients life is at serious risk (heart attacks, strokes, drowning, burns, etc). On this ambulance the Doctor is responsible for the care of the patient.

As a former volunteer for MADA, I have encountered some very irresponsible and dangerous medics and policeman who are out there supposedly to protect and save the lives of our citizens yet do more harm than good.
There is a significant burnout rate in these professions. The burnout rate is higher than most realize. A person can become desensitized, indifferent or even angry at a patient. I have seen medics ignore MADA’s black and white protocols and significantly risked the life of a patient. The reason for the blatant disregard for the rules? In this instance the victim was drunk and was responsible for the situation he was in. There were other instances of violence inflicted on a patient.
I have seen some serious violence between patients and civil servants. I have seen it first hand and I can definitely believe that there are those out that could be responsible for the death of their patients. Now the violence I saw was typically with drug users and drunks. These patients are very belligerent when receiving needed medical attention and can cause both harm to the civil servants as well as those around in the situation. But there is gaining control of a situation and then there is non justified violence inflicted onto the patient.

I wish there was a way to weed out those burnt out or not cut out for civil service. There are so many wonderful, caring and dedicated staff working and volunteering for MADA. I hope that those responsible for the death of Roni are no longer working in any sort of civil service job. Not only that, I hope they are severely punished for their actions which caused the death of another human being.

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