AtlantiCare fired paramedic for respecting patient's decision to refuse treatment, lawsuit claims

A lawsuit filed against Atlantic City, N.J.-based AtlantiCare claims former paramedic Michael Senisch was wrongfully terminated after honoring a patient's wishes to refuse recommended medical treatment, reports CBS Philly.

Mr. Senisch and a fellow paramedic visited the home of Brian and Wendy Johnson in February 2016. Ms. Johnson had a severe infection but declined to let the paramedics place an IO intraosseous infusion in her arm. The process entails using a drill-like device to insert a catheter into a patient's bone to deliver fluids or medications, according to nj.com.

Instead, Mr. Senisch administered a holistic treatment known as Reiki to Ms. Johnson after learning she preferred holistic approaches over traditional medicine. Mr. Senisch claims physicians reprimanded him for not inserting an IV or IO, and he was fired shortly after the incident.

AtlantiCare said Mr. Senisch's claims in the lawsuit, filed in 2016, are "simply untrue."

"It is unfortunate that the former paramedic and his attorney waited until now, only weeks before jury selection, to publicize his false allegations in the media," the health system said in a statement cited by CBS Philly. "We look forward to presenting the actual facts of the case to a jury in a few weeks. The care and safety of our patients is always our highest priority. Until we have the opportunity to share the facts of this case in an impartial court of law, we will refrain from commenting further."

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