St. Paul's Collegiate
Closes: September 27, 2018
28 Sep 2017 No respondents
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By Vanessa Peutherer
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When you witness a possible concussion on the rugby field, should your views as a health professional override the wishes of the player?
Steve is a 37 year old rugby player who has represented his region at the national level for several years and has high aspirations to continue playing social rugby for many years to come.
Steve began playing rugby when he was 7 and is passionate about sport, trains hard and takes his sport very seriously. He has been knocked out cold several times during games; in fact he doesn’t really try to put a number on it. “Four maybe five…easily” he says with a quiet laugh.

You are a sport’s physiotherapist and are also coach of a rival social team. You are aware that about one third of concussions in New Zealand are sport related and have treated several players who have suffered concussion along with other injuries.

Today your team are playing Steve’s team. It is almost full time and your team are behind by only 3 points. Steve takes a hard knock and appears to black out for several seconds before getting to his feet and resuming play. He appears to be Ok and states that he will be continuing to play. You are not so sure.
You feel that it should not be his choice to continue playing. It is your opinion, based on your professional knowledge that players do not always make the right decision about their health and that Steve might be choosing what is best for the team. You feel his health should be put first and his decision to resume playing should be taken away from him.

It is proposed that Steve should be allowed to continue playing