CPR-avoiding nurse won’t face charges

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — No criminal charges will be filed against a nurse who refused to perform CPR on a resident of a California independent-living facility, police said.

The Bakersfield Police Department said Wednesday it has closed its investigation into the case of Lorraine Bayless, 87, who died Feb. 26 at Glenwood Gardens while a nurse there refused a 911 dispatcher’s pleas to administer CPR.

The public release of the 7-minute recording caused national outrage, fueled further when the facility’s owner asserted that the nurse acted appropriately.


Tennessee-based Brookdale Senior Living Inc., however, reversed itself and said the unidentified employee had misinterpreted the company’s guidelines and was on voluntary leave while the case is investigated.

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Nonetheless, Bayless’s family said that it was her desire to forgo resuscitation efforts and that she died of natural causes, which her family said was her wish. The family said it has no intentions of suing the company or seeking punishment for its workers.

‘‘They wish no hardship on those who were witnesses,’’ said Sonja Eddings Brown, a family spokeswoman. ‘‘It is natural for there to be an appropriate investigation, and if Lorraine’s death helps other families to learn from it or prepare for the future, then not only was her life a great blessing, but in some small way her passing, too.’’

Bayless collapsed in the Glenwood Gardens dining hall. Someone called 911 on a cellphone and asked for an ambulance. A woman who identified herself as a nurse got on the line and told dispatcher Tracey Halvorson she was not permitted to perform CPR on the woman.

Associated Press