In my post "furious" I described my reaction when a fellow EMS Pilot got off into an area he knew nothing about when he compared Iraq to Viet Nam.
Now there is an aside to that story.........
He was on duty last night. In the wee hours, he was put on standby for a "gunshot wound to the head".
A few minutes later the flight converted and he was airborne........a 10 minute flight to the scene.
Four minutes from landing, with the red and blue lights of many emergency vehicles in sight, he was aborted..........the patient was pronounced dead.
He flew back to our base and landed.
Upon landing, the phone rang..........his girlfriend on the phone.
"Your brother just shot himself. He's dead."
Imagine the permutations of this story........
The aircraft arrives and the patient is still alive. The pilot, wanting to help his brother in whatever way he can, insists on loading him and flying him to the trauma center.
If you are the flight nurse and paramedic, do you trust the pilots' mental ability to fly under such circumstances?
If you refuse to fly because of the pilots' emotional involvement, and the patient dies because of the delay in waiting for another aircraft/ambulance, what are the legal, moral, and emotional ramifications?
I'm sure local EMS operations deal with similar circumstances, maybe not frequently, but certainly more often than we "flying ambulance" folks do.
But it's a hard question, and maybe one we should address before we have to do it under EXTREME pressure.