Patient: EMTs violated rights with air transport
Lawyers and medical professionals say restraining and transporting coherent people against their will could violate state law
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Laura Karr was wheeled out of an ambulance toward a waiting helicopter. She was lying on a gurney, wrists strapped down, immobilized. She said she was aware of what was happening and tried everything she could to stop it.
Over her verbal protests, she said she was loaded into an AirEvac Services helicopter and flown from Casa Grande to Phoenix. The bill for the 20-minute flight: $32,700. “I was very alert. ... I told them, ‘You need to let me out of here,’ ” the 55-year-old Arizona City resident said. “I gave them my phone number. I said to call my husband and he would come and get me. They told me it was against the rules to let me out and they started the propellers.”
Arizona lawyers and medical professionals said restraining and transporting coherent people against their will could violate state law and be grounds for civil lawsuits. They said laws prohibit ambulance companies and hospitals from forcing people to accept medical treatment, including transportation, when they are competent and refuse it.