Cops: Refusing CPR to dying woman not a crime

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — No crime was committed at a senior living facility where a staff member refused to perform CPR on an elderly woman who later died, Bakersfield police concluded.

The investigation would appear to close the books on the case, which has generated national attention. The Bakersfield Police Department said it will not be pursuing any criminal charges pertaining to the case.

Police began their probe Monday into Glenwood Gardens, where a woman who identified herself as a nurse refused to administer CPR to a woman as directed by a fire dispatcher. Police were trying to “determine if there were any criminal violations … pertaining to the death” of 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless on Feb. 26, the department said in a statement.

The staff member said it was against the facility’s policy for her to perform CPR, according to a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department. Initially, Glenwood Gardens said the staff member followed protocol.

The parent company, however, released a statement Tuesday saying the staff member handled the situation incorrectly.

“This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents,” Brookdale Senior Living said in a statement. The company declined, however, to spell out what that misunderstanding was.

Bayless’ family said in a statement to the Associated Press they do not plan to sue Glenwood Gardens. Family members said they regret that “this private and personal time has been escalated by the media.”


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