Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is CPR Always in a Patient's Best Interests?

A headline from this week's news: "Elderly Woman Dies after Bakersfield Nurse Refuses to do CPR."

The headline you won't likely read in the news: "Elderly Woman Remains in ICU on Life Support and Dying Slowly Three Weeks After Non-Therapeutic CPR"

Which story is more troubling to you?

See our op-ed in The Guardian. 

That op-ed was written prior to a statement released by the bereaved family of the Bakersfield woman, Lorraine Bayless, and providing important context for the nurse's actions. (Credit: Ventura Country Star and Associated Press):

Our mother and grandmother was a remarkable and intelligent woman whowas blessed to have a great life of 87 years. It is the wish of our family to honor and celebrate her life at this personal time. Like so many Seniors, it was our mother's wish to live independently. She was fully-aware that Glenwood Gardens did not offer trained medical staff. Even so, she personally-selected the senior living community, and our family has come to know the staff and been very pleased with Glenwood Gardens as her home. It was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life-prolonging intervention. Our family respects the right of all people to make their own life choices in such cases.

We regret that this private and most personal time has been escalated by the media. Caregivers, nurses and other medical professionals have very difficult waters to tread in the legal and medical landscape of our country today. We understand that the 911 tape of this event has caused concern, but our family knows that mom had full knowledge of the limitations of Glenwood Gardens, and is at peace. We also have no desire, nor is it the nature of our family, to seek legal recourse or try to profit from what is a lesson we can all learn from.We wish to focus on our family at this time, and this will be our final comment on this personal matter.

- The Bayless Family


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