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There will be blood

Bill Coffin | September 5, 2017

On July 26, what started as a life-and-death medical emergency turned into a legal dispute that drew nationwide condemnation and underscored the high price that sometimes comes with sticking with good compliance procedures and professional ethics.

It began with a police chase in northern Utah that ended in a crash that killed the fleeing suspect and nearly killed another motorist who was, in turn, taken to the University of Utah Hospital’s burn center for treatment. There, a Salt Lake City detective named Jeff Payne—who is specifically trained by the Salt Lake City to draw blood from patients, demanded a blood sample from the patient. Nurse Alex Wubbels cited hospital policy, which prevented the drawing of blood in this case because the patient could not consent (having been placed in a medically induced coma prior to arriving at the hospital.), Detective Payne did not have an...

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