SEVERNA PARK, Md. -- An Anne Arundel County woman who police reported dead after finding her blue and not breathing in her home was actually alive. Police were called to check on Ruth Shillinglaw Johnson, 89, on Oct. 1.
According to a report, officers found her motionless on her bathroom floor, and one officer noted an odor "similar to a decomposition smell." But officers did not check for a pulse. Instead, they called Johnson's adult son and told him his mother was dead. The man said Johnson planned to donate her body to science.
A State Anatomy Board employee arriving to take the body three hours later heard Johnson take a deep breath and saw her move her arm. Johnson was rushed to a hospital. She was discharged Wednesday. Neighbors said she has been moved to a hospice. -end article
When you come upon someone and you THINK they're dead, wouldn't you check the pulse to rule out all uncertainties? Not these police officers. They made a conclusion based off of an assumption and not only declared she was dead but notified the son that she was dead. This is a very unprofessional move in my opinion.
I think these police officers should be fired. For the sake of the woman, luckily she still survived regardless of the police officer's ignorance. Perhaps she did not survive, and it was because not routinely checking the victim's pulse lead to her dead, would probably change the situation...but who would have known in the first place?