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On July 26th, Alex Wubbels, a nurse from Salt Lake City, Utah, was arrested when she refused to let police draw blood from an unconscious patient without a search warrant.
This incident began with a deadly car crash in Salt Lake City. Footage from University Hospital and officer body cameras shows Detective Jeff Payne and nurse Alex Wubbels in a standoff over whether the policeman should be allowed to get a blood sample from a patient who had been injured in a July 26 collision in northern Utah that left another driver dead.
Alex’s patient was unconscious, and unable to consent to a blood test by the police. He was also not currently under arrest by police. The police also did not have a search warrant. But Detective Payne really wanted that blood.
The hospital, like every hospital, values patient privacy. In the video, Alex is on speakerphone with the hospital administration. They tell Officer Payne that this is hospital policy, it’s not Alex’s decision.
Suddenly, Officer Payne flares up when the administrator tells him not to threaten a nurse. Other bodycams show a University of Utah police officer and Department of Public Safety officers who act as hospital security doing nothing as Alex was arrested for doing her job.
Officer Payne attempted to book Alex for obstruction of justice. He was claiming that the patient’s unconscious state was implied consent, which has not been the law in Utah for 10 years. A very shaken Alex spoke to NBC News about her experience.