About the EMT hitting the patient, the cops beating on the suspect.. Jesus, no patient or perp is perfect, we need to be able to deal while remaining composed, or we'll lose the credibility that the ambulance is a safe sanctuary. I know the article about the EMT hitting the guy doesn't say he's diabetic, but I'll use it as an example. I've been kicked in the face, with a shoe equipped foot, by a hypoglycemic teenager, he bit my driver. We would have had no grounds to hit back, the patient wasn't in control of himself and had little ability to gain control. I restrained him in a manner to be able to treat his symptoms and control his airway, but it didn't change my demeanor.
He was diaphoretic, pale, so sweaty wet that I had to take my gloves off to get a grip on him. He was grunting, making that aganol breathing sound, so I put an NPA in ever so gently as I didn't want to hurt him since he was slightly alert. That really woke him up, so I got him looking me, and I put some GT15 on his tongue and told him to swallow. He did.. So, I squeezed the whole thing in his gob and he quickly came around... I picked him up under his arms, driver took his legs and put him on the cot. Driver went to put his o2 mask back on, and it looked like he was gonna fall off the cot, so I said grab him, he's going down. But instead he reached out and grabbed the drivers forearm w/ his teeth. I was shocked, and as I went to strap down his legs, the little SOB kicked me square in the face. So I restrained him w/ the KED so I could flip him around if he started to vomit, but also keep him upright so I could interact with him. Even though he was trying to flail around, he wasn't cursing or yelling, so I tried to reassure him it was going to be okay and we'd help get that under control shortly. Medic gets in, driver has a bloody gauze pad on his arm; and my shirt's covered with blood, and just looks for a bit. As soon as he got some Dextrose into him, you'd never have guessed this 14 y/o could be a violent aggressor. Cops were called, driver needs Hep shots and blood tests, got put on different meds for X period of time. But we didn't press charges, in fact, I insisted the police stay out of it b/c they just have the habit of making a mountain out of a mole hill. What can ya say? Deal with it.
Now if they're drunk.. That's different if there are no contributing medical factors. I always try to press onto patients that we're not there to judge; and what's said in the ambulance is between us and the ER; we're not informants (unless we have to be) and we don't report to the police. It's a neutral zone, as it should be, in the ambulance. If we lose the image that we're there to provide compassionate care, then we're going to see a lot of incidents of EMS being the victims of crime.