Are medical staff obligated to defend patients from physical attack?

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Are medical staff obligated to defend patients from physical attack?

My wife works in a nursing home.
Today her boss told the entire
staff that, by law, they are
required to defend the patients if
an armed gunman attacks the
facility. Surely this cant be true.
They absolutely no training for
this.

Asked on November 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, her boss is incorrect. No person, other than law enforcement personnel, has any duty or obligation to defend other persons from attack. Now, the employer could make it their own internal policy, in which case, if there is an attack, any employees who do not defend patients could be terminated, so long as they don't have written contracts preventing their termination--but then, if there is no written contract, an employee is an "employee at will" and may be terminated at any time, for any reason. So employees whose jobs are not protected by contract could potentially face the loss of their jobs, but that's the only consequence they could face; they would not be breaking the law and would not face legal or criminal liability.


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