nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Also a medical ethics issue?
For reasons never outlined in court records, Burke's investigators zeroed in on Clement that Monday morning in March 2006, cut him off and started asking questions as he tried to exit the bus terminal.

Clement, whose criminal record consists mostly of drug convictions, tried to brush past. He told cops he didn't have to answer questions.

They pushed him against a wall, frisked him, searched his backpack and charged Clement with resisting arrest after finding no drugs or weapons, records show.

Under the law, the sheriff's investigators needed "reasonable suspicion" to stop Clement that day.

They also needed to charge him with more than just resisting arrest, which requires a person to commit some other underlying crime. Their mistake would lead a City Court judge to throw out the misdemeanor charge nine months later.

Minutes after being led from the bus station in handcuffs, Clement was taken to a sheriff's department holding cell in the bowels of the county's sprawling downtown Judicial Center. He was forced to strip naked, squat and cough as investigators wrongly concluded he was hiding drugs inside his body, according to a federal complaint.

The investigators claimed to have seen something "white" protruding from Clement's rectum during the strip-search, according to hospital records. But it's not clear why Clement, who was arrested for a misdemeanor, was strip-searched in the first place.

Upstairs in the county Judicial Center, it was midmorning on a Monday and a smattering of judges were on the bench or in their chambers, available at a moment's notice to consider any search warrant applications. A request was never made.

Instead, just before noon, Clement -- fully shackled and still in custody for a minor offense -- shuffled into Albany Medical Center Hospital with a phalanx of cops at his side, hospital records show.

He was locked in a gurney and listened anxiously as a group of doctors and nurses debated the cops' request to have Clement forcibly sedated so his body could be searched for drugs.

The doctors asked Clement to sign a consent form, but he refused.

The medical records show one of the doctors placed a call to the hospital's risk management director to assess the liability exposure of what they were about to do.

In some cases, prisoners or people under arrest can be forcibly sedated without a court order if they are in imminent danger, such as when a bag of drugs bursts open inside them and they begin to have a seizure or fall unconscious. But the hospital's records indicate Clement was behaving normally and showed no signs of any medical emergency.

"Spoke to Shirley of Risk Management," a physician wrote, documenting the medical decision-making that afternoon. "OK to treat, sedate & remove FOB (foreign object body) against (patient's) will despite his personal refusal."

The following month, Clement received a $6,792 bill from Albany Med for the procedures. Hospital records indicate the final diagnosis as "hemorrhoids."

No question that the behavior of the police was atrocious, but are there rules against what the hospital did?

Link thanks to The Agitator.

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded