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Arrest of Utah nurse, New Albany incident are broadly similar

Utah nurse arrest

The arrest of a Utah nurse more than a month ago has striking similarities to Wednesday’s arrest of Baptist Hospital CEO Walter Grace in New Albany.

On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, a nurse at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake was arrested for refusing a police order to have blood drawn from a patient.

According to numerous news accounts, including one in today’s Washington Post, the officer in Utah did not present a court order authorizing blood to be drawn. On video footage, the nurse explains that she can draw blood only if the patient consents, if the patients is under arrest, or if the police officer has a lawful order from a judge. Although the officer acknowledges he does not have a warrant, he is seen on images from video cameras seizing and hand-cuffing the distraught Utah nurse, and forcing her into his unmarked police vehicle.

Authorities in Utah have determined that the police officer acted improperly. He has been relieved from duty.

There appear to be some similarities between what happened in Utah and what happened at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County Wednesday afternoon  However, neither the Union County Sheriff’s Office, nor officials from Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in Memphis, have furnished details about the August 30 confrontation. CEO Walter Grace was taken into police custody and released on his own recognizance about 15 minutes later.

Law enforcement officials told that the Union County deputy sheriff did have a warrant signed by Justice Court Judge David “Bruno” Garrison.

The U.S. Constitution does protect citizens against unfair search and seizure or having to give testimony against themselves, which impacts questions of how and when blood can be taken from an individual. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2016 on how blood tests may legally be obtained. In 2009 the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in the case Irby vs. State of Mississippi on issues related to how blood samples may be taken. expresses no opinion on any of the constitutional issues, on the impact of court decisions, or on any of the facts about what happened at the hospital Wednesday afternoon. The lack of specific information from primary sources has, however, promoted much uniformed spectulation in the community. As always, only reports facts pbtained from responsible and verifiable sources.

To see the Washington Post story:

To see story of local incident:

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1 Comment on Arrest of Utah nurse, New Albany incident are broadly similar

  1. Proud of Grace // September 2, 2017 at 10:03 AM //

    I sure would like to see the body cam footage of the incident from NA hospital. That would answer a lot.

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