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Tuesday, September 19th 2006

One More Jury Not To Be Trusted

A coroner’s jury in Illinois has ruled the death of a woman who had a heart attack waiting in the ER a homicide. (Official Ruling)

Vance had waited almost two hours for a doctor to see her after complaining of classic heart attack symptoms — nausea, shortness of breath and chest pains, Deputy Coroner Robert Barrett testified.

She was seen by a triage nurse about 15 minutes after she arrived, and the nurse classified her condition as “semi-emergent,” Barrett said. He said Vance’s daughter twice asked nurses after that when her mother would see a doctor.

When her name was finally called, a nurse found Vance slumped unconscious in a waiting room chair without a pulse. Barrett said. She was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

Are there cases where “gross deviation from the standard of care, which a reasonable person would excercise” might be homicide? Of course. Is this one of them? Hell, no.

The little info the AP story has makes this out to be analogous to say someone falling over clutching their chest on the sidewalk asking for help and the pedestrians walk by (those Good Samaritan Laws are a joke by the way), but it certainly doesn’t rise to homicide. Not even close.

Still, even with the jury ruling the DA probably will find no individual to charge in the case, as Medpundit points out. Maybe the jury just wanted to make a point, knowing little would come of it. Or maybe we’re dealing with the same hicks who sit on Vioxx juries.

“This Never Would’ve Happened If Eriq La Salle Worked In That ER!”

A Hearty Life comments on the case
and reminds readers that if you’re having a heart attack, call an ambulance. Something Ms. Beatrice and her daughter did not do.