"In Colorado, EMS providers are permitted to use ketamine for pain management and to treat a syndrome known as 'excited delirium,' but they must first obtain a waiver from the state health department. It is not uncommon for medics to use ketamine outside hospital settings to treat patients who appear agitated and may harm themselves or others, according to the state. Statewide, 427 people were given ketamine for agitation from August 2017 to July 2018, and about 20% of patients had to be intubated at a hospital, The Denver Post reported."
There are several petitions asking for consequences for the police who injured Elijah McClain's carotid and I fully agree with that. However, these petitions have left out other people involved with Elijah's death. The paramedics who administered nearly a double-dose of ketamine hydrochloride in a compromised individual against his will. This is an additional petition to those that already pertain to Elijah McClain. This petition is specifically intended to change laws regarding forced sedation in Elijah's name and hold reckless paramedics responsible for their roles in his death.
This is how the paramedics and the laws allowing unwanted sedation failed Elijah:
They did not know his medical record and, therefore, did not know that Elijah was anemic.
They either ignored or were unaware of the serious injury to Elijah's carotid artery, an artery that is vital for survival, which was already compromising blood flow.
Paramedics grossly overestimated Elijah's weight and administered a dose of ketamine for a 220 pound man in a 140 pound man. This was basically a double-dose of a sedative that suppresses respiration and causes cardiovascular distress upon overdose. Overestimating the size of a black man or the age of a black child is a common racial bias.
They administered the medication without his consent, ignoring his right to bodily autonomy.
Forced sedation injuries and deaths in police custody are common. The practice must stop as it allows forced medication without consent and without prior knowledge of pre-existing medical conditions or contraindicated medications or a means to weigh and dose the individual accurately. It is a dangerous practice that is unwarranted. Had the police not surprised and grabbed Elijah McClain with such force while he was peacefully listening to music, they would not have frightened him to the point that he had a fight or flight response, causing a state of panic. If police would handle situations like this with de-escalation rather than escalation tactics, individuals would not respond in a panicked state. Then paramedics would not ignore basic human rights and safety precautions and administer sedatives via injection against the individual's will and without prior medical knowledge. Let's take away that privilege that paramedics currently have. It's a dangerous practice that violates individual rights and places human beings in peril. Let's outlaw the practice of forced sedation of individuals in police custody and let's memorialize this kind and deserving young man by calling it "Elijah's Law" in his honor. Let us also take this opportunity to hold these paramedics accountable for their role in his untimely murder and let them be examples of our refusal to allow paramedics to take reckless chances with human lives. If we have a lot of signatures, I can publicly take this evidence of public support to representatives for legislative action. Please sign and share.