Much ado is being made about an 87-year-old California woman who died in a retirement home because nursing staff were prohibited by employer policy from performing CPR on her. The story is certainly a tragedy because there is every indication the womans life may have been saved.
This story sounds like one of those look-what-happened-to-America garment-rending tales of woe. But let us all take a step back. While it is initially unimaginable that a nursepresumably one trained in CPRwould stand by and watch someone die, there are some issues to ponder. Indeed, let us review the facts.
This was not a nursing facility; the nurse in question is not a registered nurse or nurse practitioner. By all accounts, the nurse was not trained in an array of medical procedures but was more at-home assistance. This is most acutely true because the incident occurred at an independent living facility, not a skilled nursing or assisted-living facility.
The nurse cannot be compelled to perform CPR. The Czar is aware that many people are throwing out the phrase good Samaritan law as if that offers a blanket indemnification to anything someone does. Most people are probably not aware that so-called good Samaritan laws are quite different in reality: in most areas, you have to be reasonably confident you know a procedure well enough to perform it; once you begin performing it, you must continue to render assistance unless someone else takes over who is equal or superior to you in skill. An untrained nursing staff member cannot stay on the phone with the dispatcher and perform CPR at the same time. The nurse made the right move by calling and staying on the line: to whit, Californias good Samaritan laws would not have protected her at any rate: they are targeted to licensed medical professionals, which the nurse in question appears not to be.
The dispatcher indicated on the call that emergency medical services would assume liability for everything; while generous, the dispatcher is not authorized to make an equally blanket indemnification on behalf of anyone. The nurse was smart enough to appreciate this.
Finally, the woman resident was well aware that CPR would not be available to her when she signed her lease. The housing community made their policies available to media, who confirmed that residents understand this. Indeed, the woman in question had a DNR (do not resuscitate) on file that covered this specifically.
Despite this, there is no shortage of media-fueled outrage. And dammit, they believe, something needs to be done! Interestingly, the family of the victim indicated they understood the decision and so far has no plans to seek any action against the home. Even so, the MSM is demanding that good Samaritan laws be changed because when something like this happens, you change the law.
The irony that Obamacare could increase incidents like this is lost on the MSM.
The Czar admits he is torn on this issue, but fundamentally acknowledges the woman, the nurse, the womans family, and the home all had the same understanding about what would or would not occur. The nurse was untrained on CPR and not protected by a good Samaritan law. The dispatcher had no ability to compel her to risk a medical procedure, and on and on.
This is a sad story, but even though the home has volunteered to review its policy in the matter, the near-certain result is that nothing will change. The Czar is starting to accept that nothing should change: the law was obeyed.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.