A nurse at an independent living facility for the elderly in Bakersfield refused to perform CPR on a resident who had passed out and was barely breathing. After a nurse called 911, the dispatcher implored her to perform CPR, but the nurse said she was not allowed to do so. Paramedics quickly arrived, but the patient died shortly thereafter.
The facility is defending its policies that address such life-and-death situations."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,” Jeffrey Toomer, director of the facility, said in a statement on behalf of Glenwood Gardens.
When does legal liability trump critical care? Who bears responsibility when a patient dies after potentially live-saving procedures are not administered?
Laura Mosqueda , MD; Chair and Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Geriatric care at the UC Irvine School of Medicine
David Orentlicher , Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law; Co-director of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law