The stunning incident that occurred at the University of Utah Hospital, in which nurse Alex Wubbels was wrongly and forcibly removed from the building by Detective Jeff Payne, has resulted in a hospital policy change.
The hospital has announced that law enforcement officers will no longer be allowed in patient care areas. If police have a request for hospital staff, they must first contact a “hospital house supervisor.” The hospital said the new policy was made one day after the incident.
“Law enforcement who come to the hospital for any reason involving patients will be required to check in to the front desk of the hospital,” chief nursing officer Margaret Pearce said in a statement, according to NPR. “There, a hospital house supervisor will meet the officers to work through each request.”
In case you’re catching up with the particulars of what happened, here’s a quick summary: after contacting her supervisor, nurse Wubbels denied Detective Payne’s request on July 26 for a blood sample from a patient who was injured in a fiery crash, which was caught on video. Wubbels was in keeping not only with hospital policy, but also Supreme Court precedent. The patient had neither been arrested nor consented to a sample, and the police didn’t have a warrant. The patient was also not a suspect. Nonetheless, Wubbels was handcuffed and hauled out of work.
Wubbels has not yet filed a lawsuit but may do so.
University of Utah Department of Public Safety Chief Dale Brophy said during a press conference that Wubbels is a “rock star” who “did everything right” and “didn’t deserve to be arrested for what she did.”
Detective Payne has been placed on leave, and many are demanding his firing.
If you haven’t seen the incident, watch it in full below: