- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2013

Last week’s tragic incident in Bakersfield, Calif., in which a nurse called 911 and then reportedly refused to administer CPR to an elderly woman despite the demands of a dispatcher is morally reprehensible (“Calif. woman dies after nurse refuses to do CPR,” Web, Monday). This is reminiscent of the June 2011 incident in which a suicidal man drowned in San Francisco Bay while Alameda County rescue workers with the ability to save him simply looked on. Both incidents put policy over people.

I think it would be ideal for all citizens to know CPR and how to use advanced, lifesaving techniques. However, shouldn’t we expect more of our public servants who are trained and commissioned to help those who cannot help themselves and whom we often hail as heroes? Why couldn’t the nurse in Bakersfield and the Alameda County responders have taken 15 minutes of unpaid leave, done the right thing and saved human lives?

I hope all public officials and administrators involved in making decisions related to these events are excoriated by family members and the general public. I also hope managers above them implement policies and have useful programs in place to ensure individual and public safety.

TOMMY LUU

San Francisco