Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Big Q Blog

red cups set up for beer pong

red cups set up for beer pong

Should I Call the EMTs?

When a roommate passes out from drinking, a student must decide whether to bring in the Emergency Medical Technicians.

It had been a long second week of freshman year. Roommates Sally and Morgan were ready for the weekend. On Friday night, they heard about an upcoming party and decided to check it out. The beer was plentiful, and even though they were underage, Sally and Morgan were welcome to drink as much as they wanted.

As the night progressed, Morgan, who had very little experience with alcohol in high school, started to feel sick, so Sally helped her back to the dorm. When they got to the dorm bathroom, Morgan passed out next to the sink.

Sally wasn't sure what she should do. She had heard that there were EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) on campus to help in this situation. But she'd also heard that when you called the EMTs, you got fined and "written up." She didn't want to get in trouble or to make trouble for Morgan, but she thought her friend might be really ill.

Facts about Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol Medical Emergency Policies at Colleges and Universities 

College Drinking: When Friends Get into Trouble 

A Framework for Ethical Decision Making


Photo by Laughing Squid available under Attribution- Non Commercial- No Derivs License.