Medics Caught on Tape Allegedly Decided Disabled Man Not Worth Saving

Published December 31, 2008

| London Times

Two EMT workers in Britain were arrested after they were heard allegedly discussing whether they should bother to resuscitate a disabled man who had collapsed at home and subsequently died.

Barry Baker, 59, who lived alone, dialed 911 saying that he thought he was having a heart attack. An ambulance was sent to his house while a controller kept him talking on the line.

By the time the ambulance arrived at the house in Patcham, Brighton, Baker had collapsed, but the telephone line was still open and was being recorded.

It is alleged that staff in the control center heard the two medics making disparaging comments about the state of the house.

A police source, who asked not to be named, said that the medics were then heard discussing Baker and saying “words to the effect that he was not worth saving."

The source said that the two men were allegedly first heard commenting on the untidy state of the house and then saying that it was not worth bothering to resuscitate Baker.

They are said to have discussed what to tell ambulance control and decided to say that Baker was already dead when they got there.

“Obviously the crew did not realize that the phone was still connected and, of course, the 999 call was recorded on tape,” the source said.

Sussex Police confirmed that two men had been arrested and that a full-scale investigation into the incident was being carried out by the major crime team.

Baker, who used sticks to help to him walk after undergoing hip replacement surgery, made the emergency call to the South East Coast Ambulance Service headquarters in Lewes in the early hours of Nov. 29.

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