Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, Dec 19 2012 11:00 PM

Harb verdict sets a sad precedent for cities

By The Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield and Hall Ambulance have prevailed in the civil lawsuit brought forth by Dr. Mohamad Harb. The jury found that neither the Bakersfield Police Department nor emergency medical responders were negligent in their treatment of Harb, who had suffered a stroke.

I'm not going to get caught up in the emotion of it. I want to speak to the reality of it. The reality is that the level of expected service for emergency responders has just been officially and legally lowered.

It's all right now for ambulance personnel to respond to your medical emergency, observe you are in medical distress and simply roll back to headquarters, leaving you in the street. It's no big deal for a highly trained police officer not to be able to differentiate between a stroke victim and a drunk. It's OK to handcuff a potentially dying man, sit him on the curb and talk crazy to him.

The decision was a sad day for those who believe that such highly trained professionals should act in a competent manner and be held accountable when they don't.

John Ferguson

Bakersfield

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