SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A woman who died after a nurse at her elder home refused to provide CPR had chosen to live in a facility without medical staff and wanted to pass away without life-prolonging intervention, her family said Tuesday.
Lorraine Bayless' family said in a statement to The Associated Press that it does not plan to sue the independent-living facility where the 87-year-old woman died last week.
A 911 tape recounts a dramatic conversation between a dispatcher and a nurse who refused to cooperate with pleas for someone to start CPR as firefighters sped to the scene. In the 7-minute, 16-second exchange, the dispatcher insisted the nurse perform CPR or find someone willing to do it.
The home's parent company said in a statement that the employee wrongly interpreted company policy when she declined to offer aid.
"This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents. Glenwood Gardens is conducting a full internal investigation," Brookdale Senior Living said, adding that the employee was on voluntary leave during the process.
City fire officials say Bayless did not have a "do not resuscitate" order on file at the home. Her family said, however, "it was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life-prolonging intervention."
Glenwood Gardens is an independent-living facility, and company officials say no medical staff is employed there. The woman who identified herself as a nurse to the dispatcher was employed at the facility as a resident services director, the company said.
The nurse's decision has prompted multiple state and local investigations at Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield.
"It was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life-prolonging intervention."
Lorraine Bayless' family