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Scoot Blog: Have we lost our humanity?

Have we become a society that is so obsessed with litigation that we no longer respond to the instinct to help each other?

I’m sure you have heard of the riveting 911 call from an employee at a retirement home in California about an 87-year-old resident who had passed out in the dining room area.  The 911 dispatcher, Tracey Halvorson, pleaded with the employee, who admitted she is a nurse, to begin performing CPR on the resident. The employee at the retirement home refused and said that it was against company policy to perform CPR.

The 911 dispatcher made a passionate appeal to the nurse and told her that the woman, who had stopped breathing, was going to die if she or someone didn’t administer help right away. Still, the nurse at the Glenwood Gardens retirement home in Bakersfield, CA refused to help the 87-year-old resident who remained unconscious on the floor.

It seems that the fear of being sued as a result of assisting a person who is dying is greater than the instinct of one human to help another human being. If this is the product of our ‘sue-happy’ society, then we should all feel ashamed.

EMS did arrive and rushed the woman to the hospital where she later died. Amazingly, the woman’s own daughter, also a nurse, agreed with the policy of the Glenwood Gardens retirement home and said that she can’t be sure that CPR would have saved her mother’s life.

There is no way of knowing if CPR would have saved the woman’s life, but shouldn’t the bigger question center on who we have become as people – as human beings? Should any company have a policy in place that prohibits any person from attempting to save the life of another person?

I admit that I occasionally walk by people who are passed out on the sidewalks of the CBD and the French Quarter and I don’t stop to even check into whether they need help. Well, I did once. I passed a man who lay unconscious across the sidewalk and I called 911. I was on my way to the station and don’t know what the end result was, but I did give details to the 911 dispatcher about the man and his location.

Have you stopped to help someone that may have needed your help? Would you break company policy to help another human?

When our civilized world is ruled by consideration of litigation over responding to what should be a natural instinct to help one another, we should take a long look in the mirror at our society and assess what we have created.

Tags :  
Locations : BakersfieldCalifornia
People : Tracey Halvorson

03/05/2013 6:09AM
Scoot Blog: Have we lost our humanity?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
03/05/2013 7:23AM
Quality of Life
I am the youngest of many and have seen people grow old and die since I have been 7 years old. When people reach their mid 80's there health falls off drastically and they sit waiting to die. What would this have accomplished, a few more days or even years sitting in a home waiting to die, that is inhumane.
03/05/2013 8:06AM
What have we created??
I am 75 years old and in 10 years I will be in my mid-eighties.There is no way that even if my health is not good that I will be waiting to die! I disagree with the previous writers statement. I believe that it was totally wrong to not give CPR to that lady. She may have lived longer had she been helped!
03/05/2013 9:34AM
Sick things
The first comment should answer your question.These sick things occupy space in our world now.I think it should be ok to get rid of the things.
03/05/2013 12:34PM
Help Should Have Been Provided
Sick things is too nice of a term for the first commenter. People's intelligence can be determined usually by a few short statements. Apparently they're not close to their parents/grandparents. Be that as it may, I believe it wouldn't have hurt to perform CPR regardless of the nursing home policy. I seriously would hope that no one would have tried to hold the nurse liable if she did so and was not successful (then again, we live in a lawsuit happy society). I was raised that you should always try and help a person in need.
03/07/2013 6:38AM
some people just are looking for an excuse to do nothing.
Using fear of law suit as a way to lead your life is a cop out. I will do what I feel i right regardless of the fact that someone may file legal suit or place my professional license in danger. There is no excuse for not doing the right thing when someones life is in danger and you have the power and knowledge to do something about it
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