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Oaths vs. Business Policies – Paper #3
The following issue has been all the latest conversation among the business/professional world in terms of addressing company policies that would go as far as to disallow employees from conducting themselves in a manner misaligned with their professional duties or ethical character.
Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died [updated]- e-refuses-to-give-cpr-to-elderly-woman-who-later-died.html
Bakersfield fire dispatcher Tracey Halvorson pleaded with the woman on the other end of the line, begging her to start CPR on an elderly woman who was barely breathing.
“It’s a human being,” Halvorson said, speaking quickly. “Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?”
The woman paused.
“Um, not at this time.”
On a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department, the woman on the other end of the line told Halvorson that she was a nurse at Glenwood Gardens, a senior living facility in Bakersfield. But on Tuesday, the nurse refused to give the woman CPR, saying it was against the facility’s policy for staff to do so, according to the tape.
The elderly woman was identified by KGET-TV (Channel 17) as 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless. She died Tuesday at Mercy Hospital Southwest, KGET reported.
In the tape, a different Glenwood Gardens employee said that an elderly woman had passed out in the facility’s dining room while eating. She was barely breathing.
For several minutes, Halvorson begged the nurse to begin CPR, saying something had to be done before an ambulance arrived.
After the nurse repeatedly refused, Halvorson asked her to find a passerby or anyone who would be willing to help. Halvorson said she would talk someone through performing CPR.
“I understand if your facility is not willing to do that,” Halvorson told the nurse. “Give the phone to that passerby, that stranger…this woman’s not breathing enough.
“She’s going to die if we don’t get this started.… I don’t understand why you’re not willing to help this patient.”
The nurse could be heard talking to someone else at the facility.
“She’s yelling at me,” she said of Halvorson, “and saying we have to have one of our residents perform CPR. I’m feeling stressed, and I’m not going to do that, make that call.”
When Halvorson asked the nurse if she was going to let the woman die, the nurse said, “That’s why we called 911.”
After a few minutes, the nurse said the ambulance had arrived. The tape ended with Halvorson sighing.
The facility’s executive director, Jeffrey Toomer, sent a statement on behalf of Glenwood Gardens to KGET, the station reported.
“In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives,” the statement said, according to KGET.
Bakersfield Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza said Halvorson followed protocol and that dispatchers give CPR instructions over the phone numerous times each year.
Bayless’ daughter told KGET that she was a nurse and was satisfied with her mother’s care at Glenwood Gardens, the station reported.
1. According to the article, “Boundary Issues in Nursing”, nurses take a pledge called the Nightingale Pledge as a vow “never to subscribe to incompetent or unethical behavior. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and maintain and elevate the standard of my profession,” states a passage from the pledge. The Nightingale Pledge also forbids nurses from illegal misconduct including physical harm or theft.” Although this is not the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians, it is in fact an oath that nurses take at the time of their pinning. Should this oath take precedence over the company policy adopted by the Gardens? Does “never to subscribe to incompetent or unethical behavior” rule over this policy?
2. According the case, Boccasile v Cajun Music Limited, “If health care professionals are not covered by a state’s Good Samaritan statute they are liable for both gross and ordinary negligence. Ordinary negligence occurs when an individual’s deviation from the standard of care (ie, what a reasonably prudent person would do under similar circumstances) results in injury to another.” Given this passage from the case, Should criminal charges be made against the nurse, “Colleen” and Glenwood Gardens in a joint and several case? Why or why not? Explain
3. During the call, the nurse “Colleen” from Glenwood Gardens specifically states that it is against the Gardens policy to attempt CPR. According to the article, “Ethical and Unethical Business Practices” under the section, Preventing Unethical Practices in Organizations; the first two bullets are as follows: Codes of corporate ethics must be formulated so that employees are aware of the organization’s expectations regarding ethical norms and conduct; and, #2, An appeal process must be in place so that any unethical practice can be brought into light. Given these two redresses, should Glenwood Gardens employees, (specifically the nurses who work there), have asked for an appeal process of the policy regarding CPR? Why or why not?
4. During the 911 call, the operator states, “EMS takes the liability for this Colleen. I’m happy to help you.” If that is the case, which it becomes the case as stated given the recorded 911 call, should this have been a matter than of disregarding protocol and following a moral code, ie., the Nightingale Pledge than that of a policy which does not allow nurses or even citizens to perform CRP on anyone at that facility? Why or why n