Right to Refuse Giving CPR

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- 9-1-1 tapes released this week of an employee at an independent living facility refusing to give a dying patient CPR sent shockwaves across the country.

It’s left a lot of people asking if that could happen to their parents or loved one. We spoke with one woman who says after hearing about the case in California, she won’t put her parents into any type of facility.

“My parents ain’t that old. They’re in their 60’s but I know it’s coming but they’ll be staying with me before I let someone treat them bad,” said Jammie Bridges a resident of Rockford.

The employee involved in the case out of California said it was company policy not to perform CPR on residents. We spoke with a number of living facilities here in Rockford today. They all said their policy is to perform CPR. If you’re worried about a family member in an independent or any other type of care facility, the best advice one nurse practitioner has is to ask about the policies there and also make sure your loved one has an advanced life directive, like a do not resuscitate form.

"In independent living it would be no different than living in your own home and if you are an older person the best way to avoid something like that happening is to have a DNR form on your refrigerator,” said Niccole Ranz, a nurse practitioner.

The employee of the independent living facility in California will not face charges related to the resident’s death.
In this case, it’s important to remember there is a difference between independent care and assisted living facilities. If it was assisted living or a nursing home, the providers would be required unless there was a DNR to perform CPR, but independent living facilities operate under different rules.

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