Utah Nurse Drama Sees Police Officer Suspended, DA Investigating

On Friday, the nation was up in arms on social media after a police body camera video went viral that showed a hospital interaction between a police officer and a nurse turn absurd.

In the clip, a nurse by the name of Alex Wubbels was seen refusing to draw the blood of an unconscious suspect who was involved in a car accident.  Wubbels was acting according to the law and a Supreme Court ruling that states that a patient can only have blood drawn involuntarily if they are under arrest, otherwise, consent must be given by the patient.

Unfortunately for Wubbels, Detective Jeff Payne was having none of that.

Payne continued to berate and harass Wubbels regarding the statute, threatening to arrest the nurse of she continued to refuse.  The nurse bravely stood her ground against the detective who was asking of her something completely illegal and amoral.  That’s when Wubbels was arrested by Payne.

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Lawyers for the victim released the body camera video of her ordeal this week in an effort to seek justice for their client, and it seems that the tactic has worked.

“The detective left Wubbels in a hot police car for 20 minutes before realizing that blood had already been drawn as part of treatment, said her lawyer, Karra Porter. Wubbels was not charged.

“Payne initially remained on duty although he was suspended from blood-draw duties. Later on Friday Utah police announced that he and another unidentified officer had been put on paid administrative leave, the Washington Post reported.

“Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement that his department will comply with the investigation into Payne. Brown and the mayor of Salt Lake City have apologized for the incident and changed their policies to mirror hospital protocols.

“Christina Judd, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Police, said the department was alarmed by what they witnessed in the video.

“The hospital supported Wubbels actions and said it would consider pressing charges.

“‘University of Utah Health supports Nurse Wubbles and her decision to focus first and foremost on the care and well-being of her patient,” said Suzanne Winchester, the hospital’s media relations manager. “She followed procedures and protocols in this matter and was acting in her patient’s best interest. We have worked with our law enforcement partners on this issue to ensure an appropriate process for moving forward.'”

The incident has reportedly sparked an investigation from the District Attorney’s office as well, while Payne is on administrative leave.

While the 4th Amendment may be under attack in a great many ways in this day and age, it is refreshing and assuring to know that nurses like Alex Wubbels exist, protecting the rights of those unable to do so for themselves.

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