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The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Saving one’s job is not worth the life of another human

As Lorraine Bayless collapsed on the floor of an independent living community’s dining room, a nearby staff member refused to give the 87-year-old CPR as she called 911 and watched Bayless die.

The resident services director who called 911 asking for assistance for Bayless said she couldn’t administer CPR because it was against Glenwood Gardens’ policies.

The 911 dispatcher grew so desperate to get immediate help to Bayless that she asked the Glenwood Gardens employee to have another employee or even someone from out on the street administer CPR.

The dispatcher’s pleas were all ignored, and by the time the ambulance reached Bayless and brought her to a hospital, she had already died.

The question that immediately stands out in this situation is why? Why was this woman allowed to lie dying on the floor when there was a possibility she could have been saved?

Glenwood Gardens stands by the employee’s decision and while they sent condolences to Bayless’ family, they do not accept any fault in her death.

Even more surprising, Bayless’ family places no responsibility on Glenwood Gardens and did not want her resuscitated. Regardless, the facility was not aware of this in advance and denied the dying Bayless assistance.

Whether administering medical attention to a person in need is against the rules or not, if the resident services director knew CPR she absolutely should have acted to attempt to save Bayless.

A job can’t possibly be worth more than a human life can it?

Apparently that question is subjective. Otherwise Bayless would have received medical assistance from someone at the facility.

This should not be a dilemma for anyone who gives any value to human life. By denying medical assistance to a dying woman, Glenwood Gardens has presented a message that rules are more important than even attempting to save someone.

The reason the employee didn’t ask anyone on the street for assistance at the suggestion of the 911 dispatcher is also up for speculation.

Even if the employee had initially been afraid of a possible lawsuit should anything go wrong in the administration of CPR from a third party, the 911 dispatcher informed her that 911 took all responsibility in the situation once the call was made.

So even with that responsibility lifted from her shoulders, the employee still refused Bayless the attention she so desperately needed.

If an independent living community’s rules really prevent a capable employee from helping a dying person, something is seriously wrong.

I can’t imagine having idly stood by while someone I may have been able to help died right in front of me, even if my job was at stake.

These rules clearly need a strong restructuring to prevent any future situations such as this. Capable employees should be freely allowed to provide medical assistance to anyone under their care.

If this is impossible to implement, then perhaps medically certified professionals should be included on the staff of these facilities. Such employees could be held responsible for any such situations and be allowed to help whoever needs it.

A change clearly needs to be made, lest more situations of people dying helplessly arise.

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About the Contributor
Nick Valenzuela
Nick Valenzuela, News Editor
News Editor, spring 2015. Opinion & Online Editor, fall 2014. Sports Editor, spring 2014. Production Manager, fall 2013. Staff member, spring 2013.  

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Saving one’s job is not worth the life of another human