Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Euthanasia: Be Careful What You Wish For

They've invented a card that allows anyone to refuse treatment in a medical emergency. Here is the BBC banging on about it. Have a little read, by all means, then pop back.

What frankly worries me is that, by signing the card, you might be entering into a written contract. And they are very difficult to get out of.

I can imagine the scene. And here I am, imagining it . . .

EXT: An ambulance arrives at the scene of a road traffic accident. The driver has a nasty cut in his arm and is stuck behind the wheel.

PARAMEDIC 1: Hello, my name's Stephen. What's your name?

DRIVER: Tom.

PARAMEDIC 1: Right, then, Tom. Let's see about getting you out of here. Ooh, bit of a nasty gash there.

DRIVER: Yes, it is a bit tender. (Laughs weakly)

PARAMEDIC 1: I bet. Right, oh, there's a bit of metal stuck in your thigh. Should be okay. Finbar! Tell the fire bobbies we'll need to cut him out.

PARAMEDIC 2 (who has been standing behind): Right you are, Stephen. (Walks off).

PARAMEDIC 1: Right, let's get that arm sorted out (opens medical bag).

PARAMEDIC 2 comes back

PARAMEDIC 2: What are you doing?

PARAMEDIC 1: I'm going to bandage him up, lest he bleed to an untimely death.

PARAMEDIC 2: (Sucks teeth) Have you checked his wallet?

PARAMEDIC 1: Yikes! Nearly forgot. Could have got into serious lumber. (Leans across DRIVER and pulls wallet from pocket).

DRIVER: Oi!

PARAMEDIC 1: (Opens wallet) Just checking. (Pulls out card) Blimey! Cheers, Finbar, that was a close one!

DRIVER: What?

PARAMEDIC 1: You've got one of those Right to Die cards. (He reads) STOP! I want to make an advance decision to refuse treatment. Look, you've signed your name here.

DRIVER: But?

PARAMEDIC 1: (starts putting away bag) There you go. (hands back wallet and card) Well, good luck, Tom.

DRIVER: Hang on. I didn't mean . . . It's only a cut. I meant if I was unconscious.

PARAMEDIC 1: You will be in a minute, if that's any consolation.

DRIVER: Okay, okay, I'm giving you permission now. Treat me.

PARAMEDIC 1: Sorry mate, more than my job's worth. We put so much as a plaster on, and you're straight off to your brief to sue us.

DRIVER: But . . .

PARAMEDIC 2: He's right, mate. You say we've got permission now. But that's not going to stand up in court.

DRIVER: But . . .

PARAMEDIC 1: (Points at watch, clears throat) Finbar, Casualty.

PARAMEDIC 2: Tut, we'll miss the first five minutes. All the best, Tom.

PARAMEDIC 1: Yeah, cheers, Tom.

PARAMEDICS walk back to ambulance. They meet firefighters with cutting equipment and have a short discussion. Then all drive away.

You see, they've opened a can of worms there.

4 comments:

Captain Mac said...

Why, when you identify the paramedics as Stephen and Finbar in dialogue, do you then continue to call them paramedic one and two in the script to your imaginary drama?

Poor Stephen and Finbar. It may just be a flight of fancy to you, but it's real life to them!!

Is this something you would do if - god forbid - you were injured in real life?...

STEPHEN, THE PARAMEDIC: "Hello, I'm Stephen, what's the matter?"

GRAHAM: "I've cut my lip - and you will now be called Paramedic One."

PARAMEDIC ONE: "Stop that, I'm Stephen I tell you, Stephen ..."

(Graham stares at him)

PARAMEDIC ONE: (in robotic voice) "I AM PARAMEDIC ONE."

Also, do you appreciate the irony of writing abour paramedics when your name is bandage, a key part of their kit! Brilliant!

Captain Mac said...

Obviously I meant about, not abour, which would make no sense

Graham Bandage said...

Captain Mac, I think you might be a mental.

Paul Allison said...

'Also, do you appreciate the irony of writing abour paramedics when your name is bandage, a key part of their kit! Brilliant!'

I think it's more coincidence than irony, but hey-ho.