March 8, 2013

Senior Woman Dies After Nurse Refuses to Administer CPR

By Jonathan Damashek

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When we think of a medical professional, we automatically assume that it is their responsibility to do whatever they can to save the life of a person who is dying in front of them. Not only is it in their nature as a doctor to jump to the aid of someone who is very ill, but they are also trained to do so; and it is likely their efforts that can bring a person back to health even in the darkest hours. So, what happens when a nurse who is trained to administer CPR to those in need refuses to do so? Victims die. This was the tragic case for 87 year old Lorraine Bayless who lost her life as a result of the nurse in her independent living home refusing to give her CPR.

When Bayless fell in the homes dining room, the nurse knew that it was the policy of the home to immediately contact emergency services for assistance. Once on the phone with a seasoned Fire Department dispatcher, the dispatcher instructed the nurse to give the victim CPR. For 7 straight minutes, the nurse refused to give CPR to the victim claiming that it was the home’s policy that they had to withhold treatment and wait for the emergency response team to arrive. The dispatcher pleaded with her over and over again to do whatever she could to save the life of the woman who was slowly dying, and the nurse did nothing.

While this may have not been a nursing home, it is the right and responsibility of any person to attempt to save the life of someone who is suffering around them. There are good Samaritan laws that protect people who were in good faith seeking to help someone in need, and yet this woman refused to help. Now what begs the question is the fact as to whether these nurses actions are a legal issue or more of an ethical problem? Reports share that the woman had agreed for a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) in the event that she were to suffer and begin dying. Her family claims that she hoped to die of a natural death.

In the case of this woman he family has agreed that her wishes were respected; however, in some situations this is not the case. In the event that you or someone you know died as a result of someone negligently refusing to give the necessary medical care, consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit in order to seek compensation for your loss. At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, PC we are committed to doing whatever it takes to help a victim of wrongful injury or death, call us today to learn more about how we can help you!