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So, who's the User?Cotton, Chris (SAAS) email@example.com
Sun, 16 Jun 2002 16:44:12 +0930
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Dave wrote: I see no inconsistency, other than perhaps that demonstrated by a medical professional who takes the stance that illegal drug use is ok, so long as you're not shooting up on the job. I think I've been pretty clear on the reason for the different treatment of alcohol and illegal drugs. Is it your contention that it's acceptable for a medic/nurse/doctor to use illegal substances? Personally, I have no interest in working with or associating with drug users. Someone used the phrase "...sneaking around like criminals." Very accurate, since that's exactly what they are. I have an even stronger aversion to being treated by someone, credentials and background notwithstanding, who was high as a kite the night before on God knows what. Dave Adler, EMT-P Editor, Prehospital Perspective Magazine www.prehospital-perspective.com firstname.lastname@example.org and ME says... Wow, i've seen point and counterpoint on this, but i now think it is getting a little too heated and probably losing the focus i intended with my original hypothetical. I genuinely appreciate where Dave and Jeff are coming from, albeit my personal opinion is somewhat different to theirs. But that's okay by me - i am interested in their opinions and their stance clearly is the result of their experiences. For what it is worth though, i know of some brilliant medical people who are "users" in one form or another who i would gladly entrust my life to in an emergency. I'm not just saying that. I mean it. I loathe incompetence - and these people are FAR from that. They are genuinely, extremely competent practitioners in their fields. Notwithstanding, i would be mortified if they tried to treat me whilst they were under the influence of their drugs of choice at the time - irrespective of whether i thought they might still be competent or not. But, because these people are professional i know they would never jeapordise their careers or their patients by doing such a thing. They are too intelligent and dedicated for that. As for what they choose to do with their own time, i believe that is their business. I don't believe it is unreasonable to say that they are well informed of the risks and make calculated judgements on what they do. I will also go so far as to say that one could find it very difficult to ascertain that they were indeed users of "illegal" substances. It is not the sort of thing that they would ever let become an issue in their workplace - they are not that stupid. Try and tell them how and what they should and should not do in their own time (particularly if they have been discreet in the past) would meet, i think with protest. Not necessarily at the level one would think - they are smarter than that. They would target the people who count. Oh, BTW - sadly, what works for some often may have disasterous consequences for others. So in this debate so far i recognise that for every smart practitioner who can use their drugs of choice with discretion and control, there will be a number who will not be so fortunate and will be unable to exercise the judgement and control of others. For them ... i would advocate one chance. A chance that would involve counceling and treatment. If they still come in to work affected after this, then being removed from general public contact and temptation would be necessary. Regards, Chris Cotton, Intensive Care Paramedic South Australia.