Health

Saturday, Oct 05 2013 07:00 PM

Bakersfield CPR case prompts new state law

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Glenwood Gardens is shown in a March 6 file photo.

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By CALIFORNIAN STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law a bill that prohibits companies from adopting policies banning employees from performing CPR and other medical services in an emergency.

The measure was a response to an incident in at a Bakersfield nursing facility last February. After an elderly woman collapsed, an employee refused to perform CPR on her, citing company policy. The woman later died.

The victim, 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless, was a resident of Glenwood Gardens' independent living facility.

Her death in February made national news after the release of a 911 recording of a dispatcher pleading with a Glenwood Gardens staff member, who identified herself as a nurse, to give CPR to Bayless, which the employee refused to do.

Excerpts from the intense audiotape of the 911 call were played over and over by radio and television outlets across the country, reflecting deep public interest in the incident.

Bayless' family later issued a statement saying she wanted to die naturally without "life-prolonging intervention," and fire department reports said there was no do-not-resuscitate order in her paperwork.

The bill, AB 633, was brought by Assemblyman Rudy Salas Jr. (D-Bakersfield).

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