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To Perform Cpr Or Not Essay

1518 words - 7 pages

On February 26, 2013, Lorraine Bayless died at Glenwood Gardens after a nurse refused to give her CPR. Glenwood Gardens is an independent senior living facility. During the 911 call, there is a constant request from the operator to provide care to Bayless, but the caller said it was against her job policy to perform CPR. Jeffrey Toomer, the Executive Director at Glenwood Gardens, was quoted saying, “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. That is the protocol we followed.” Following the incident, ...view middle of the document...

” This video clip highlighted the 911 calls and quoted what Jeffrey Toomer said. Additionally, it mentioned that they talked to a Bayless family member who was a nurse and the person remains satisfied with the care she received at the facility.
A major concern amongst many individuals is if the Glenwood Gardens policy pertaining to not giving CPR to a patient was ethical or not. The biggest argument against their policy is that many people feel that an individual should not be left to die. When put in a situation like the one at Glenwood Gardens, individuals should do everything in their power to save the person. It’s a moral obligation. If the nurse didn’t feel comfortable breaking company policy, then she should have handed the phone to someone that would, instead of repetitively telling the 911 operators that she would not help. Glenwood Gardens considers themselves an independent living facility, which generally means that individuals living there have their own living corridors but will eat meals in a common area. This differs vastly from assisted living facilities, and this type of facility is typically not required to offer nurse services. Some independent living facilities do have nurses on staff though. Proponents of Glenwood Gardens argue that residents are explicitly told that the facility does not offer nurse services so they responded ethically and had no legal obligation to perform CPR.
The family of Bayless has stated that Glenwood Gardens acted appropriately because she understood before she moved in that she would not be offered nurse services if something happened. Although Bayless didn’t have a do not resuscitate order, she wanted to die naturally. Her family was quoted saying, “It was our beloved mother and grandmother’s wish to die naturally and without any kind of life prolonging intervention. 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.” They also apologized for the situation getting blown up by the media. The biggest issue with this is that people are using it as an argument to why it was ok for the worker to refuse CPR. They didn’t know in hindsight that the patient would have wanted to die naturally, especially since the person didn’t even have a do not resuscitate order. This situation could be completely different and the arguments would be different had the person wanted to live.
There are reasons to why a facility might have a policy in place that doesn’t allow CPR and the biggest one is that CPR can often be dangerous. Having employees that are trained but don’t ever perform CPR aren’t going to be as good as a nurse professional who uses the maneuver more frequently. This could potentially be dangerous to the residents living at the facility. Bones weaken as the body ages, so the elderly would be substantially more susceptible to broken ribs or other broken...

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