A woman who was denied CPR and died, had in fact refused it, saying that she didn't want "any kind of life prolonging intervention," according to new reports coming out of Bakersfield, California today.
Lorraine Bayless, 87, passed away at her retirement home recently, with the incident gaining national attention after a seven minute 911 call revealed that a staff member at the Glendale Gardens independent living facility had refused to perform CPR on her. The phone call recording also revealed that the staff member even refused to rush to find anyone else who would perform CPR on the dying lady, who had just collapsed.
A recording of the 911 call has been described as "harrowing" by some media outlets in the aftermath of the death. The recording revealed how a dispatcher had pleaded with the retirement home staff member to find someone to perform CPR on the woman following her collapse.
The 911 dispatcher can be heard on the recording saying: "Is there anybody there that's willing to help this lady and not let her die?"
"Not at this time," the female staff worker replied.
Bayless was later taken to the hospital when emergency crews arrived, but was pronounced dead soon after her arrival at the medical center.
Owners of Glendale Gardens, Brookdale Senior Living, had initially made a statement that the employee on the phone call was following company policy by waiting for first responders instead of administering medical care herself.
However, a subsequent statement was later released confirming that the employee had misunderstood guidelines and was being put on voluntary leave pending an investigation.
But on Tuesday the family of the elderly woman released another statement saying that Bayless had received adequate care at the facility and that she had wanted to die naturally.
The Bayless' family said the incident provided "a lesson we can all learn from," according to The Associated Press.
The family has confirmed it has no intention of taking legal action against the care home.
The family said, "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."
Here is a video report into the incident: