Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Assisted Living Facility where Assisting to Live is Forbidden

I find what is shared in this video at The Blaze hard to believe.  A nurse speaks to a 911 operator, calling for emergency assistance for a dying woman, but refuses to help the woman.  The facility’s policy forbids doing CPR to save a resident’s life.

I cannot imagine anyone signing such a restrictive policy.  Well, Obama or Sebelius or Feinstein, yes, but well . . .

This is hurtful to my soul.  Moreover, it is becoming commonplace.

It is hard to imagine that on Facebook and other social media that people post endlessly about abuse of animals and saving the lives of dogs and cats, even old and decrepit dogs and cats.  Meanwhile the daughter of this woman, a nurse, says that she is satisfied with the care that her dying mother received.  What care did her mother receive?

Perhaps this 87 year old woman did not want CPR.  Perhaps she did not want to be assisted.  Perhaps this is why she came to live at this facility.

Was this the case?  Is it my place to speculate?  Is there a time when such a decision is appropriate?

And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.
   (Genesis 49:33)

And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
  (Genesis 50:22-26)

As I ponder what has been reported, and consider the statement of this woman’s daughter, perhaps I really should be careful about presuming to know more than I do.  After all, this woman lived in a very comfortable environment.  She did receive assistance in her day to day needs.  She was blessed to live to 87 years of age.  Her body was weakened.  Her bones were frail.  She elected to live in a facility where the policy was stated that the rigors of CPR would not be performed.  Does this policy take into account the low success of CPR on such older people?  Does this policy take into account the likelihood of deep and painful bruises, possible broken ribs, and even possible rupture of blood vessels?

Perhaps I am wrong to presume to judge these people of whom I know so little.  After all, they did not withhold food or drink from her.  They did not administer lethal drugs.  They did not refuse to call for paramedics who have the defibrillation and other equipment.

If this is the way, then perhaps this should be explained to the EMS people so that they are not put in the horrific situation that this creates.  As I listened to the audio, my heart ached for this dispatcher.  It seems that at the very least, facilities such as Glenwood Gardens should be required to list their policy with the EMS and explain why CPR is not practiced.  These facilities often are frequent callers of EMS.  The dispatchers should be given better information, both for their own conscience’s sakes as well as to avoid such ugly misunderstanding.

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1 comment:

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