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Dead woman's family won't sue seniors facility

Relatives say Lorraine Bayless, 87, who died after the staff refused to perform CPR, did not want life-prolonging intervention.

March 05, 2013|By Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times
  • A man walks near the main gate of Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield.
A man walks near the main gate of Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield. (Gosia Wozniacka / Associated…)

The 87-year-old woman who died last week after a staff member at a Bakersfield senior living facility refused to perform CPR did not want life-prolonging intervention, her family said Tuesday.

In a statement to the Associated Press, the family of Lorraine Bayless said they do not plan to sue the facility, Glenwood Gardens.

A staff member who identified herself as a nurse refused to give Bayless CPR as directed by a Bakersfield fire dispatcher, saying it was against the facility's policy for staff to do so, according to a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department. Bayless died Feb. 26.

Family members said they regret that "this private and personal time has been escalated by the media," according to the Associated Press. The 911 tape, in which a Bakersfield fire dispatcher pleads with the staff member to begin CPR, has garnered widespread attention.

"Our family knows that mom had full knowledge of the limitations of Glenwood Gardens and is at peace," the statement read.

The Bakersfield property has multiple buildings with different state licenses. One is licensed by the state Department of Public Health as a skilled nursing facility and is able to provide medical care. Another is licensed by the Department of Social Services as an assisted living facility, which does not provide medical care but assists with daily tasks, a department spokesman said.

Another portion of Glenwood Gardens is an independent living facility, which is not licensed by the state, does not provide medical care and operates like an apartment complex for senior citizens. Glenwood Gardens officials have said Bayless lived in that building.

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