Taking Care of a prisoner in the Emergency Department today

He is lying in a bed in the emergency department with his hands cuffed behind his back. He has a bandage on his head. Two men with nine millimeter guns at his side read the paper and wait. “Tell me what happened?”  “The cops beat me up!” says the man.

I do not want to get involved in that squabble. I do not want to enter into a litigious battle. There is an injured human being in front of me. The cause, who is right and who is wrong are not the point.

He is safe? Is he in pain? How can I help? Does he need surgery? Sutures? Drainage of a hematoma? That is my concern.

The cops, calmly, without defensiveness tell me “He fought several officers and made a grab for a gun. He could have killed someone”

I don’t want to hear this either.

What are the facts? Is he in need of help? I do the exam, I order the CT of the Maxilla.

Would the world be better if I had treated him as right or wrong in the cause? Is the civilization better if I treat a prisoner toughly? or villify the cops?

A human is injured. He needs help. That is all of my concern.



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