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You've Been Transported, What's Next?

Alessia Rosati ‘15, Staff Writer

Students whose health or safety is in danger because of drug or alcohol abuse are often taken by ambulance from campus to a hospital for treatment. Here are some questions and answers that explain ‘medical transports’ and their potential consequences:

If a student is coherent, can he or she weigh in on whether to be transported?
Students whose condition attracts the attention to a resident advisor have lost any say in whether an ambulance will be summoned. The RA will call Merrimack police, who are trained as medical first responders; police will talk to the student to judge whether to call an ambulance. If the Merrimack police agree that the student is okay to stay on campus there will not be any call made. If the case different and the student needs further assistance, Merrimack Police go ahead and assure to call the ambulance. The ambulance crew will make a further evaluation, based on the student’s ability to identify him- or herself and his or her surroundings, and perhaps on other physical abilities.

Does a student’s health insurance cover a medical transport?
Sometimes, but every insurance policy is different; if your policy doesn’t cover the transport, it could cost you (?? hundreds / thousands) of dollars.

Does the college inform a student’s parents or guardian about the transport, even if the student is a legal adult?
The RA and police will inform a top-level college administrator who is on-call, who will determine whether and how to inform parents or guardians about the transport and possible hospital stay.

Are there any disciplinary consequences?
A week after an incident, the student will receive an email notice of a hearing with a college administrator, to determine what the punishment will be. The student will have the opportunity to explain his or her side of the story. The college doesn’t have predetermined sanctions for overindulgence in drugs or alcohol resulting in medical treatment, but sanctions could include an education requirement. A pattern of the same kinds of behavior can lead to stronger consequences, such as being barred from campus for a period of time.

Will criminal charges result from a medical transport?
Not from the medical transport and treatment itself, though police could press charges based on other circumstances (such a drunken student attacking an officer or ambulance driver, or being found in possession of quantities of drugs). Generally, though, the college will keep the record of the incident in its files, not share it with law enforcement.

Does a medical transport affect tuition or financial aid?
Not directly; however, being suspended as a result of a disciplinary hearing could mean forfeiting tuition already paid.

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