Legal and medical aspects associated with the use of direct coercion by emergency medical teams in the light of the applicable law
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Wyższa Szkoła Planowania Strategicznego w Dąbrowie Górniczej
Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi, Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych
Klinika Psychiatryczna i Terapii Uzależnień " WOLMED " w Dubiu
Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi, II Katedra Pediatrii, Zakład Medycyny Ratunkowej dla Dzieci
Submission date: 2020-02-03
Final revision date: 2020-04-15
Acceptance date: 2020-04-15
Online publication date: 2021-08-31
Publication date: 2021-08-31
Corresponding author
Artur Jerzy Ostrzyżek   

Wyższa Szkoła Planowania Strategicznego w Dąbrowie Górniczej
Psychiatr Pol 2021;55(4):757-767
According to Article 68 sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland everyone has the right to health protection. In line with this provision, the Act of 8 September 2006 on the State Emergency Medical Services imposes an obligation on emergency medical teams to provide assistance to “every person experiencing an emergency health condition.” The catalogue of medical events and accompanying clinical situations in which emergency medical teams intervene is constantly growing. A significant percentage of such situations are calls for assistance to people with mental disorders or psychomotor agitation, often with reduced ability to recognize the nature of their actions, whose aggressive behavior is directed both to themselves and to others. Providing the managers of the basic emergency medical teams with the competence to apply and supervise direct coercive measures on their own represents asignificant increase in their powers. In addition, it is asignificant organizational improvement since, until now, emergency medical teams have not been able to intervene effectively in situations requiring assistance without the help of a physician, and have had to call in ateam of specialists. Furthermore, granting paramedics, expressis verbis, the status of ‘public officers’in connection with the performance of their duties is a desirable legislative measure since it strengthens the protection of this professional group, especially because rescue operations often take place without the patient’s consent or with the patient’s active resistance. The article contains an overview of current legal regulations concerning the use of direct coercion by emergency medical teams.
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