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June 11, 2024 COVID Health Conditions News

COVID

Scottish Paramedics Told Not to ‘Try Too Hard’ to Resuscitate Elderly Patients During Pandemic

Medical commentator John Campbell, Ph.D., analyzed the testimony of a Scottish paramedic who told the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry that paramedics received a letter stating they “would be given full support” to make decisions outside normal protocols about resuscitating patients over age 70.

health worker resuscitating with Scotland flag and covid spike proteins

Scottish health officials in March 2020 told paramedics they would be fully supported if they did not “try too hard” to resuscitate patients over the age of 70, according to a paramedic’s testimony before the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry.

Medical commentator John Campbell, Ph.D., who analyzed the testimony on his YouTube show, said, “We’re talking about people not being resuscitated after a particular age, which of course is patent ageism.”

Robert Pollock, a clinical adviser paramedic who worked as a frontline paramedic during the COVID-19 pandemic, delivered the testimony and a written statement to the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry.

The inquiry heard testimony from government officials and ordinary citizens over a span of more than 50 days. It investigated failures in Scotland’s pandemic response — including how hospitals administered dangerous end-of-life protocols, including pressuring patients to sign DNR (do not resuscitate) orders.

‘Your normal attempts at resuscitation would be minimized’

According to Pollock’s written statement:

“Scottish Ambulance Service employees received a letter by email on Thursday 26 March 2020 from the Health and Care Professions Council which stipulated to every registrant that they realised there would be difficult decisions to be made by healthcare professionals, but they would be given full support to make decisions [without] normal protocols.”

According to Pollock, this practice is known as the “toe tagging” of patients based on their age, which he said is “wording for ‘do not try too hard to resuscitate them’ over a certain age.”

Pollock expanded on these claims in his testimony before the inquiry.

“My recollection is absolutely clear,” he said. “There was discussions around the age grouping for toe-tagging, for want of a better word. People … over a certain age now, your normal attempts at resuscitation would be minimized.”

According to Pollock, these instructions came even though “there is no age limit in Scotland for resuscitation of a patient.”

“This was very frightening for workers who have family members in that age group and it caused a lot of concern and anxiety for people who were used to doing their best to preserve life,” Pollock wrote. “The process of resuscitation has evolved, and we have a high success rate. This did not go down well with members.”

He added:

“Staff morale was severely affected, as they were trained to preserve life, they were paid lifesavers but at the time, they were told to do the complete opposite. This terrified staff that they might have to do this against their normal training and their normal desire to help. This was not a process that anyone welcomed.”

Pollock said there were “rumours” within the Scottish Ambulance Services “that the government had a plan to reduce the age group to those over 50s if Covid levels reached their expected peak and the plan for over 70s did not result in a significant enough drop in medical demand.”

Pollock said such a plan had been “absolutely in discussion.”

Campbell, who holds a Ph.D. in nursing, analyzed Pollock’s statement and testimony.

“This was not a process that anyone welcomed,” Campbell repeated. “The people that sent out these emails, what was their thinking? What was their thinking based on, and what was the rationale for what they were doing?”

In his testimony, Pollock also implied that these instructions came from above the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“They weren’t decision-making on their own,” he said.

“It sounds to me like some decisions were made far too quickly, almost,” Campbell said, adding that Pollock’s testimony raises questions that require further investigation.

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‘This is an excellent inquiry’

“We need more information,” Campbell said. “We need to do qualitative research on this and then get quantitative figures out of it because Mr. Pollock said he didn’t know how many people that’s affected. But that information could well be derived.”

Campbell suggested similar policies were likely implemented in other countries, but the lack of a similar public inquiry in most countries means the information might never be revealed publicly.

“This is an excellent inquiry and the counselors on it, the lawyers on it, are asking sensitive questions and getting information from ordinary people,” Campbell said. “People’s ordinary experience, not high-powered politicians, just people that experienced things and often suffered during the pandemic time.”

“It’s a pity other countries aren’t doing the same,” he added.

In an August 2023 interview with The Defender, Scott Schara, the father of Grace Schara, a 19-year-old girl who died after she tested positive for COVID-19 and a Wisconsin hospital administered a series of drugs and treatments without parental permission, said the hospital entered an “illegal” DNR order for his daughter.

And in a July 2023 interview with The Defender, Gail Seiler described 13 days of “cruel and inhuman” treatment at a Texas hospital, including an unauthorized DNR order, which she says were part of the COVID-19 hospital protocols. She left the hospital following a “standoff” in her hospital room.

Campbell’s program came just days before Monday’s launch of the People’s Vaccine Inquiry in the United Kingdom, for which witnesses invited to provide statements in its official UK Covid-19 Inquiry — where testimony is on hold until next year — sought “to give immediate access to their expert testimony.”

“Let’s hope there’s less rapid decision-making,” Campbell said. “Let’s hope there’s no panic in any future threat, and let’s hope that rational cool heads can prevail in any future situation.”

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