A correspondent has asked ‘Can a person refuse to be rescued?’ He gives the context as:
A person is involved in a motor vehicle accident in an area serviced (primarily) by a volunteer rescue service, however there is also a professional emergency service nearby that can also provide rescue services (they act up as primary rescue service should the volunteer service not be available).
The person in the accident knows that the quality of the service provided by the volunteer service is poor, and is able to convey their wishes that they want the professional rescuers to rescue them and not the volunteers. Can the person trapped in the car say “I refuse permission for you to touch me!”? Are the volunteers bound by the wishes of the trapped person? Do they have a duty of care that overrides the person’s wishes?
That’s an interesting question. My answer is ‘no…
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