Abstract A theoretical foundation is described by summarizing currently accepted concepts of consent and refusal. These concepts are then placed in the context of the paramedic environment, which by its very nature makes decisions about consent very difficult. Three cases are briefly reviewed in light of these concepts and four areas for investigation are identified. It is argued there exists a need for the assessment of the skill and education of paramedics so that they may be better equipped to make decisions acceptable to the wider medical community.
Brian has a background in philosophy and theology, but taught biology, maths and science to secondary students before becoming an ambulance paramedic with Metropolitan Ambulance Service, Melbourne, Australia in 1998.
He has been involved in teaching paramedic students for the last 7 years and continues to work as a paramedic in Melbourne's east.
Brian's interests include ethics, critical thinking and education, particularly bridging the gap between theory and practice.
"Paramedics, consent and refusal – are we competent?,"
Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://ro.ecu.edu.au/jephc/vol5/iss1/4