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Paramedic Heretic : Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions - K Patrick McDonald

Paramedic Heretic

Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions

By: K Patrick McDonald

Paperback | 8 December 2014

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At one point during our lunch the famous Sonny Bono asked, "So in other words, we've reached a point where a rescuer can't say 'screw the rules' and just do the right thing?" Not in other words, Sonny. Those are the perfect words. Immutable Law #2 Saving lives is not our priority. Following our policies is our priority. Protecting ourselves comes next. Avoiding lawsuits comes third. You come somewhere after that. * * * I was not even out of school before I witnessed my first doctor commit murder. It would not be my last - Lord, no - but I can recall that night as vividly as though it happened last week. Few medics forget their first physician homicide. * * * The ugly truth is some of the most macho medics on the planet turn into complete lollipops in the presence of an arrogant, incompetent physician. No matter how you parse it, that is professional cowardice. * * * K. Patrick McDonald is a graduate of UCSD La Jolla School of Medicine original Advanced Field Medicine program. He was appointed the first EMS Supervisor for the City of San Diego under Mayor (and then Governor) Pete Wilson's administration. He created one of the nation's first STAR (Special Trauma & Rescue) Teams and co-authored the San Diego City Disaster Preparedness Plan. He was a co-author of the National Waterpark Lifeguard Training Manual. He has acted as consultant to the U.S. Secret Service in Presidential Protection matters. He writes, "After 30 years of occasionally saving lives, I learned that by writing and speaking, I can do more good for more citizens, while tolerating far fewer medical-political snollygosters." (For more on this fascinating subject, visit

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