Doctor refused mid air emergency. Is he right to reject or not?

When the cabin crew requests medical assistance, a specialist doctor intervenes but this time doctor refused mid air emergency. However, a recent incident defied this norm, leaving many scratching their heads. This unusual exception occurred during a long-haul international flight, and the internet is buzzing with opinions.

In the realm of air travel, emergencies are not uncommon, and more often than not, it’s a doctor on the flight who comes to the rescue. But this time, an internal medicine hospitalist, made headlines for choosing not to respond. While some condemned his decision, others defended him, leading to a heated online discussion.

doctor refused mid air emergency
Is he right to refuse an emergency call (Image Credit)

The Doctor refused mid air emergency call: Why?

As the flight progressed, the doctor in his mid-30s, found himself in a unique predicament. Having indulged in pre-flight drinks and maintaining a strong buzz, he hesitated when the cabin crew called for a doctor. Despite the norm being to assist in such situations, he opted to stay seated, citing his impaired state due to the alcohol. This decision sparked controversy, and the internet community quickly became divided on whether he was justified or not.

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Admitting to being inebriated during the flight, the doctor revealed that he had been drinking even before boarding. Despite not reaching a point of slurring or excessive drunkenness, he acknowledged feeling a robust buzz as the flight took off. Engaging in casual conversation with a co-passenger about their respective professions, he was later immersed in the in-flight entertainment when the unexpected call for a doctor echoed through the cabin.

Does he have an acceptable reason?

As the cabin crew sought medical assistance, the doctor found himself at a crossroads. He admitted, “Normally, I would present myself to the cabin crew and help out, but after several hours of on-flight boozing, I was pretty drunk.” Acknowledging his impaired state, he realized that attempting to provide medical aid might do more harm than good. Consequently, the Doctor refused mid air emergency.

His co-passenger, unaware of his alcohol-induced dilemma, insisted he respond, expressing concern that his inaction might cost someone their life. In response, the doctor firmly defended his right to enjoy a relaxed journey, asserting, “Just because I’m a doctor doesn’t mean I’m not on call 24/7 to provide medical care on demand. I work when I’m at the hospital, outside, I’m just like everyone else and I’m entitled to drink and relax.”. The doctor refused mid air emergency call citing this reason.

doctor refused mid air emergency
The Doctors community is divided over this controversial decision (Image Credit)

This decision caused controversy among the doctors community

The online community swiftly weighed in the doctor refused mid air emergency controversial decision. Some applauded him for recognizing his impaired state and avoiding potential harm, emphasizing the legal constraints surrounding intoxicated medical professionals. Others criticized him for not explaining his situation to the concerned co-passenger, suggesting that his response may have come across as apathetic.

In this digital discourse, a social media user highlighted, “The crew would not have used you in your capacity as a doctor as you were intoxicated. By law, they cannot as you are well aware.” This comment resonated with many, legal and ethical considerations that governed the situation.

As the debate rages on, with some condemning the doctor’s decision and others empathizing with the unique circumstances he faced, the incident of the doctor refused mid air emergency opens a broader conversation about the responsibilities and expectations placed on medical professionals, even during their leisure time.

Featured Image: Suhyeon Choi/Unsplash

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