You arrive on the scene of a single-vehicle MVA with two passengers. The driver is a male in his 80s, and you can see that he requires immediate transport. However, he doesn't seem concerned about himself; instead, he keeps asking about his passenger—his wife, who has died.
What do you tell him?
Ethics is a major consideration in other allied health professions, but the topic rarely receives much attention in EMS. And when it does, most tend to assume that the same ethical considerations that apply to physicians carry over into EMS. That's not always the case. While many of the same principles do apply, their application might look different for medics. Medics often face unique situations where time is short, options are limited, and consent unavailable. And now, in the midst of a pandemic, medics face many situations where tough decisions must be made with limited resources in short order.
A more full discussion of the differences in ethics for EMS may be found here, but there are ten ethical concepts medics need to be familiar with in order to make the best possible decisions while they're in the field.
Here are the top 10 things you need to know about ethics in EMS.