A Connecticut man was arrested for “not” calling 911 when his neighbor overdosed on opiate drugs. Michael Bedard of Oakdale was arrested on Thursday and charged with negligent homicide.
This is a very serious charge for not picking up the phone. Investigators say that Bedard, 55, waited for more than an hour before calling 911 and his friend died three days later in the hospital, according to WTNH News on April 29.
The chance of someone surviving an overdose of drugs depends upon how quickly they receive medical help, which often comes in the form of an injection known as the “save drug.” That medication is Narcan which almost instantly brings someone out of the grips of that overdose. This drug is carried by many law enforcement, firefighters and ambulance personnel nationwide today.
There are reasons people are afraid to pick up the phone and call 911 when drugs are involved and because of this the Good Samaritan Law was put in place. Folks are afraid to implicate their friend or loved one in a drug charge and they also fear implicating themselves. Sometimes that fear is strong enough to prevent that life-saving call.
It is not as if most people would intentionally let that person die, but many believe they will sleep it off or come out of it on their own. The Good Samaritan Law gives complete exemption from a drug arrest and prosecution when calling 911. Connecticut is one of the 20 states that have this Good Samaritan Law on the books.
Recently this law applied to a Westfield, Massachusetts, mother of a 1-year-old child who reportedly got into heroin at home and overdosed. The mother sought medical help immediately for her child and this mother was exempt from the charges in her child’s overdose under the Good Samaritan Law. The child is fine today.
Bedard was arraigned in court on Thursday with the charge of negligent homicide for the February death of his friend. With accidental overdose deaths now the leading cause of accidental deaths in the country, the Good Samaritan Law was put in place to take away the reason many won’t call police, because they are afraid of prosecution.