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The Ethical and Legal Implications of a Nurse's Arrest in Utah

Olsen, Douglas, P., PhD, RN; Brous, Edie, JD, MPH, MS, RN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: March 2018 - Volume 118 - Issue 3 - p 47–53
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000530938.88865.7f
Ethical Issues

Editor's note: On July 26, 2017, Alex Wubbels, the charge nurse on the burn unit at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, was arrested for refusing to allow a police officer to draw blood from an unconscious patient in her care. Her arrest, during which she was forcefully placed in handcuffs and dragged out of the hospital, was documented on body camera video and drew national attention. We asked our ethical and legal contributing editors to provide some insight on the issues of this case.

Douglas P. Olsen is an associate professor at the Michigan State University College of Nursing in East Lansing. Edie Brous is a nurse and attorney in New York City. Olsen and Brous are also contributing editors of AJN. Contact author: Douglas P. Olsen, douglas.olsen@hc.msu.edu. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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