Originally Posted by SDGANDER
Been a while since I was employed as such but I m still a State Registered Paramedic...
1. I am sure there is a legal obligation to provide 'assistance' to your level of training and available equipment or be deemed negligent, (as a healthcare professional at least).
There is no legal obligation at all in the UK. The HPC may well have something in the Code of Practice obliging you to stop and help (as the GMC and NMC do) but that is not a legal obligation - you won't go to court.
OLL v Secretary of State for Transport
Where do you stand on responding to a Mayday or Pan call? Or is that diffferent due to the legal requirement to respond?
says that even the Coastguard do not have a legal duty to respond to a Mayday call. This was a case brought by the adventure organisation that was responsible for the teenagers dying in the woefully unprepared sea kayaking expedition off Lyme Bay. The company alleged that because the Coastguard made some mistakes in activating and allocating rescue assets they should be partially liable for the death of the teenagers. The court held that the Coastguard did not have a duty to respond.
So, if HMCG hasn't been held liable by the courts. I very much doubt that Joe Blogs out for a nice day will be held liable.
Could YOU really walk past someone DYING and live with the fact you may have been able to make a positive difference? I couldn't...
Nope.... and I've never walked past. But they all died!
Also what if someone knows your qualifications and that you failed to use your training to help a relative? In that situation I would as sure as hell sue you ar$e off....
On what possible grounds? You can't do that. There is no legal obligation to rescue in the UK, or any Common Law jurisdiction. In France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands and Japan you could end up with a variety of CRIMINAL punishments including hefty fines and even imprisonment for failing to help. As well as being left exposed to a civil action (ie being sued)
The most you could do, if the individual was a registered Health Care Professional would be to report them to the appropriate registry body in an attempt to get the struck off.
- Re your comment, when discussing the "professional rescuer" the law is very muddled and unclear. Ambulance Service do have a duty to respond (Kent v Griffiths
). Police do not (Alexandrou v Oxford
). Fire Service does not (Capital and Counties plc v Hampshire County Council
). Coastguard do not (OLL v Secretary of State for Transport
). There is no logical basis for this distinction, particularly if you consider that the agencies might well be working together at an incident.
But yes, if you're talking about working on the Ambulance - Medical Negligence rears it's head, but that is a different issue to what is being discussed here. I thought we were discussing stopping to help in a "Good Samaritan" kind of way?
P.S. Tim, sorry for hijacking your thread.