The following comes from a March 2 posting on L.A. Observed.
Bakersfield fire dispatcher Tracey Halvorson pleaded with the woman on the other end of the line, begging her to start CPR on an elderly woman who was barely breathing.
“It’s a human being,” Halvorson said, speaking quickly. “Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?”
The woman paused.
“Um, not at this time.”
On a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department, the woman on the other end of the line told Halvorson that she was a nurse at Glenwood Gardens, a senior living facility in Bakersfield. But on Tuesday, the nurse refused to give the woman CPR, saying it was against the facility’s policy for staff to do so, according to the tape.
The elderly woman was identified by KGET-TV (Channel 17) as 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless. She died Tuesday at Mercy Hospital Southwest, KGET reported.
In the tape, a different Glenwood Gardens employee said that an elderly woman had passed out in the facility’s dining room while eating. She was barely breathing.
For several minutes, Halvorson begged the nurse to begin CPR, saying something had to be done before an ambulance arrived.
After the nurse repeatedly refused, Halvorson asked her to find a passerby or anyone who would be willing to help. Halvorson said she would talk someone through performing CPR.
“I understand if your facility is not willing to do that,” Halvorson told the nurse. “Give the phone to that passerby, that stranger…this woman’s not breathing enough.
“She’s going to die if we don’t get this started.… I don’t understand why you’re not willing to help this patient.”
The nurse could be heard talking to someone else at the facility.
“She’s yelling at me,” she said of Halvorson, “and saying we have to have one of our residents perform CPR. I’m feeling stressed, and I’m not going to do that, make that call.”
When Halvorson asked the nurse if she was going to let the woman die, the nurse said, “That’s why we called 911.”
After a few minutes, the nurse said the ambulance had arrived. The tape ended with Halvorson sighing.
The facility’s executive director, Jeffrey Toomer, sent a statement on behalf of Glenwood Gardens to KGET, the station reported.
“In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives,” the statement said, according to KGET.
This all started in force with the Terri Shaivo situation years ago. Many of my Protestant friends could not understand why I was so livid about it and that she should be “allowed to die.” Wake up everybody. Life is precious from conception through natural death. CPR is not a hercluean effort to preserve life. As long as there was no DNR in place, this woman probably wanted to live. Is this the future? Care facilities that stand by and watch emergency situations turn into death watches? Appalling.
Horendo Mendoz, you are absolutely right. It is appalling. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse for old people.
The youth culture has a lot to do with this refusal to assist the elderly. If it were their own mother, would the result have been the same?
The eldercare facility has no trouble filling beds; the waiting lists at such places can be long. Even their financial incentive for keeping their customers alive is non-existent, just as many of their residents soon will be.
Maryanne I respect you very much but I have to disagree….I do recall it was Jack Kevorkian,(he wasn’t young) who was an activist on voluntary euthanasia and the list goes on. It is the elders whom I see around me who have turned their back on God and are raising our youth to not care….Abortion doesn’t help either.
This news angers me…..I was always taught to respect my elders and when I saw that it was an elder who took a friend of mine, she was in my Catholic youth group at that time, to have an abortion behind her parents back. I tried convincing her not to do it and that it would hurt her parents if they ever found out…but she refused to listen to me and the drama teacher, an elder teacher from my high school, took her to commit the evil deed. Today this day, I am older now, I still can’t forget that. This teacher has already passed away many years ago and she was also the teacher who also taught me to get out of my shyness because I was a very shy young lady in high school, she was liked by a lot of teenagers, she was good to me but I lost respect for her when I found out what she did.
Well anyway I don’t want to make this an age issue but I’m sorry but I had to reply to your comments….I’m sure the youth don’t know any better but I wonder why? this culture, MTV, Hollywood and many young and elders are influencing this society, it’s getting out of control, we just have to take care of our own because it looks like the outside will not. We lost a sense to fear the Lord, there is so much more to this growing problem……as helpless as I feel, prayer is what lifts me up…..God have mercy on us all. God bless you my friend!
These board and care homes and SNF’s are terrified of being sued, that is why they do not allow staff to perform CPR…they care more about the dollar then the cherished life of a senior citizen
Why do these Americans send their parents to these death holes to die, in institutions while you are supposedly living the good successful life in suburbia?
Where is the success if you do not have room for your mother in your own house? Americans die among foreigners. That is not freedom.
bwangi sometimes they have no choice…some of these don’t have families or have been abandoned. It’s sad.
I had read that this woman had a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. I don’t think they could legally resuscitate her or they would get sued.
I don’t mean to diss all nurses who work in convalescent facilities, but they are not usually the “top of the line” professionals. But, even worse, is the statement from the facilities director, Jeffrey Toomer. I think the average semi-literate person knows that you don’t call 911 and then do nothing — especially if you have a paramedic trying to walk you through CPR. God help us all.
I’ll betcha she would have done CPR if this old lady had been HER mother, instead of someone else’s mother…and grandmother…and friend. :-(
The Culture of Death does not only discriminate against the tiny life in the womb! The old and challenged are a BURDEN as well! Sick!
I compare the manner in which the Japanese people suffering from that devastating wall of water many could not flee from, those who survived rushedto the aid of the elderly to assist them take them into their homes. Young kids were doing this as well. It is that part of their culture that I really admire.
What happened to us in this country, the self serving narcissism is entirely out of control!