Legal Blood drawing in KS -- new D.A. legislation possibility

  1. I don't know if anyone has heard, but this week, our former Attorney General for Kansas Phill Kline (now the Johnson Co. D.A.) is seeking to enact a law that requires ER nurses to obtain legal blood draws on patients EVEN if they REFUSE! He has even stated that he is will arrest ER nurses and physicians for obstruction of justice if they do not comply. In all my 14 years of nursing, I have always been under the understanding that illegally obtaining blood from a patient is considered battery. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    Here is the link from the KC Star about this new legislation:

    http://www.kansascity.com/105/story/66212.html

    Would appreciate any opinions from legal nurses as to what this means!
    Thanks!
  2. Visit BarbieBAN profile page

    About BarbieBAN

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 3
    ER Nurse

    8 Comments

  3. by   TrudyRN
    It means that the DA is trying to do his job but his approach is short-sighted and arrogant. What if he does arrest someone? Maybe the next worker won't draw the blood either. He can arrest every nurse, lab tech, and doctor in the hospital and he still won't have the blood and he will be responsible for death and disability of who knows how many patients? That should go over well.

    Like several of prosecutors I have read about, including the @!#+_ in the Duke LaCrosse case and Marcia Clark of OJ Simpson fame, he sounds egotistical and thrives on power. He seems to think only threats of arrest will work. There is no understanding, it seems, of the minefield of laws and regulations through which hospitals and their employees must daily tread. And why take out on hospitals the fact that how many judges didn't lock up forever the miserable drunken wreck of a womanmentioned in the story (and thousands like her) somewhere along the way of her sickness, selfishness, and irresponsibility? Like after the very first offense. Why must nurses and doctors be threatened with arrest because the legal system failed to get her away from civilized innocents?

    Hopefully, they'll get it all worked out. A very simple procedure is in place - the telephone search warrant - and I think the DA spouted off with the only fix he knows - arrest.
  4. by   purple1953reading
    I would only draw those bloods on a person the highway patrol brought in or with a court order. I had a dui guy with no license brought in when they found him unconscious in the car, and , or course, he said he did not drive, the driver must have taken off. He was to go to jail, but because of head injury protocol, that they said the jail did not have time to do (what an excuse) he was let go to home for followup. Later, the State Patrol came back and wanted the sheets from the room he was in to do typing on the blood to compare with the blood found on the steering wheel. Was really angry when I told him, the room had been cleaned, and the laundry had the sheets, He said go get them, I said I can't testify or verify they are his now. Told him Call hthe judge, get a court order to take blood directly from him. End of story.
  5. by   hospitalstaph
    I noticed this on the news a few nights ago and cannot believe it! I live in MO but work in KS. I am happy that I have never been put in a situation like this, but I am sure it will happen eventually. And to think that we could be arrested for this??????

    TL
  6. by   justme1972
    I think the DA would be doing an illegal search and seizure by requiring it without a court order...any law can get passed, and they can arrest anyone they want...until it gets before a judge and is found to be unconstitutional.

    I agree, that blood draws are an invasive procedure, and like ANY invasive procedure, I would say that the DA need's a court order...no matter how much he doesn't want to get one....DUI suspect or not.
  7. by   TazziRN
    People under arrest are not guilty until proven so. That means that if a blood sample is obtained without consent, implied or absolute, it is battery and the suspect would have a reason to sue. I understand this DA's frustration but he's gotta wise up.
  8. by   sjt9721
    I've run across some LE agencies that had a certain number of officers trained to draw blood. It was part of the booking process...prints, picture, blood...
  9. by   CraigB-RN
    I may have my states confused, but I thought KS was one of those states that assumed guilt if you refused the BA. I"ll have to go back and look again. I know when I was DON of a KS hospital, I would never have allowed one of my nurses to put themselves at risk for blood borne exposure by having them take blood from a patient that didn't want then. This one may just have to be fought out in the courts.

    This isnt't the first time something like this has happened. I remember a couple of years back, there was a push to report 15 & 16 yo's who were having sex so they could press felony charges against the male.
  10. by   KsEDRN
    I had a friend e-mail me this news story, Phill Kline is a scary person to have in any position of power. I have refused to draw blood on intoxicated patients brought in by the police and it does seem to upset them, until you mention that it would be battery to do so with out the patient's consent. I was then told that not allowing a blood draw, or taking a breathalizer was automatic loss of license.

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