Nurse’s arrest brings attention to blood draws and privacy rights

Privacy rights are important in this country. Our founding fathers took these rights so seriously that they enumerated them within the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment clearly states that we are free from unreasonable searches.

Unfortunately, violation of these rights is not uncommon. A recent case out of Utah provides an example.

What happened in Utah? The arrest involves a nurse who refused to gather blood from an unconscious patient in her care. The nurse told the police that were demanding the blood sample that it was against hospital policy to do so unless the patient was under arrest, the police had a warrant or the patient consented to the blood draw.

The police demanded the nurse’s cooperation even though these criteria were not satisfied. She refused. They arrested her. Footage of the arrest, captured by body cameras on the officers as well as by cameras in the hospital, was recently released to the public. It shows the officer becoming agitated and walking quickly to the nurse, forcing her out the door and towards the police car.

Since the incident, the arresting officer lost his job and the nurse has come out as an advocate for patient’s rights.

What can others learn from this incident? Privacy rights are important, but they are not always a given. Sometimes enforcement officers overstep. Perhaps they do not know that they are violating an individual’s rights or there is a misunderstanding. Ultimately, the reason does not matter. It is wise to seek legal counsel if the violation was serious and resulted in evidence used to build a case against the victim.

An experienced attorney will advocate for your rights. In some instances this could lead to the evidence getting thrown out of court, potentially leading to a dismissal of any criminal charges. Contact an attorney to discuss this and other options. 

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Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.

New York Defense Lawyer
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