This video will make the hairs on your arms stand up.

Lorraine Bayless died after a nurse refused to perform CPR when she collapsed at her retirement home.





An 87-year-old woman in the United States has died after the staff at the retirement village she lived in refused to preform CPR, when she suffered a heart attack.

When Lorraine Bayless collapsed on the floor of Glenwood Gardens retirement home in Bakersfield, staff did the right thing – they picked up the phone and called emergency services.

But what happened next will make the hairs on your arm stand up.

Listen to the phone call:

If you aren’t able to listen along, here is what happened:

The 911 operator who took the call (her name was Tracey Halvorson) asked the nurse to start performing CPR.

The nurse flatly refused to do so because performing CPR was against the retirement home’s policy – which is that staff wait for trained paramedics to arrive and resuscitate, rather than attempting to do so themselves.

You can hear the desperation in the emergency service operator’s voice during the 7-minute-16-second call, as she pleads with the nurse to at least flag down a stranger on the street who could step in and perform CPR.

But the nurse says that’s not possible either.

“We’re going to let this lady die?” Operator Halvorson asks.

“Well that’s why we’re calling 911,” is the reply from the nurse.

In the end Halvorson asks if there is “any human being” who is willing to help.

The response? “Not at this time.”

Lorraine Bayless was later declared dead at the Mercy SouthWest Hospital.


A criminal investigation has now been launched into the facility.

But the facility has defended its staff members and its policy. A statement from the Executive Director Jeffrey Toomer read: “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… That is the protocol we followed.”

So the question is, what would happen if the same thing happened in Australia?

If you saw someone on the street in need of CPR, do you have an obligation to help them? Do you take the risk that you could do more harm than good?

Under the laws of most Australian states, you are under no legal obligation to go to perform CPR or in any way assist someone who is in trouble.

However once you do step in to assist, then you do relinquish some legal protections.

If you assisted in resuscitating someone and ended up doing more harm than good, then technically you could be sued. If this were to occur, the courts would only expect you to have performed CPR to a standard that would be expected of someone with your level of experience or training.

In fact, no person who has gone voluntarily to another’s aid has ever been successfully sued in Australia.

So, what would you do?

This is an audio clipping from Mamamia’s radio show, Mamamia Today, where listeners phoned in to share their stories of performing CPR with hosts Em Rusciano and Dave Thornton.