Come join the good samaritans
Planning to leave the UK for your elective? Or perhaps you're staying domestic. No matter where you are, would you and should you intervene to help in an unexpected situation? Anahita Kirkpatrick, a senior medicolegal adviser with the Medical Defence Union, says that you may have to and gives some advice on what to do in a good samaritan act
- By: Anahita Kirkpatrick
Most students first starting at medical school believe that they will be saving lives in precarious conditions as in the television soaps.
You may not think that you are battle hardened and confident enough to lash together a life saving thoracic drain using a mineral water bottle and a coat hanger. But, according to the General Medical Council's (GMC) regulations as outlined in Good Medical Practice: “In an emergency, wherever it may arise, you must offer anyone at risk the assistance you could reasonably be expected to provide.”1
The original good Samaritan So the fact that you are not a consultant in accident and emergency medicine, or that you have never been ATLS (advanced trauma life support) trained, or that there is no fully equipped crash trolley close by, forms no barrier to helping in the best way you can. And that applies even if you are not in Britain