A Utah Hospital has announced a policy change after a stunning incident involving a nurse and a Salt Lake City police detective in late July.
University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels was arrested on July 26 by detective Jeff Payne after refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient.
Dash cam video of the disturbing incident showed the detective dragging Wubbels from the hospital and handcuffing her after she refused to take a blood sample from the car crash victim.
University of Utah Hospital officials announced Monday that law enforcement officers will no longer be allowed in patient care areas. If police have a request for hospital staff, they must contact a senior nursing supervisor, officials said.
“Law enforcement who come to the hospital for any reason involving patients will be required to check in to the front desk of the hospital,” chief nursing officer Margaret Pearce said in a statement, according to NPR.
“There, a hospital house supervisor will meet the officers to work through each request.”
Hospital officials said the policy change was actually made in August, shortly after the incident.
"There's absolutely no tolerance for that kind of behavior in our hospital," CEO Gordon Crabtree said, according to ABC News.
"Nurse Wubbels was placed in an unfair and unwarranted position. ... Her actions are nothing less than exemplary."
Wubbels denied the detective’s request for a blood sample from the unconscious patient in keeping, not only with hospital policy, but also with Supreme Court precedent. The patient had not been arrested and was not able to consent, and police did not have a warrant for drawing his blood. The incident unfolded between Wubbels and the detective when she refused to hand over a blood sample.
Salt Lake City police officials apologized for the detective’s behavior and put him on administrative leave
University of Utah Department of Public Safety Chief Dale Brophy because his officers did not help the nurse during the incident, said during a press conference that Wubbels was a “rock star” who “did everything right” and “didn’t deserve to be arrested for what she did.”
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