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March 7, 2013

Although it was 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless’s wish to refuse CPR last February after falling down in a local California nursing home, the owners of the nursing home consider it nursing home abuse that a former worker honored the victim’s wishes, allowing her to die.

According to reports, Bayless died on Feb. 26 after a nursing home employee on duty at Glendale Gardens in Bakersfield didn’t perform CPR on the victim, as directed by a 911 dispatcher. In a 7-minute recording, the employee can be heard exchanging heated words on a 911 call. However, against the dispatcher’s advice, the employee waited for medical help to arrive, stating that she is not qualified to perform CPR. By then, it was too late, and Bayless had passed away.

In the beginning, owners and administrators of the nursing home stated that the employee did the right thing by waiting for the medical team to arrive. Yet, in a statement released this week, the company has since changed its mind. The company now suggests that the former employee didn’t proceed in the correct way:

“This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents,” the company said.

The victim’s family, on the other hand, said that they respect the wishes of the deceased victim, who had always said she wanted to die naturally. However, per California laws, they do have the option of retaining a California nursing home abuse attorney and filing for civil damages.

At this time, the former employee is not facing any criminal charges. However, the Bakersfield Police Department is investigating the incident in order to determine if a crime was actually committed. In addition, the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN) is involved. Per the CBRN, there is cause for concern after the employee made no attempts to locate someone qualified to perform CPR.


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