Do Not Resuscitate


“Non Voluntary Do Not Resuscitate”
(National Review — May 2, 2016)
The “do not resuscitate order” (DNR) is an important part of medicine that allows terminally ill, injured and very aged patients die naturally without intrusive and potentially injurious efforts to keep the heart beating…DNRs are supposed to be only put on a chart with consent.  But as medicine grows increasingly technocratic, we see doctors or bioethics committees placing them on charts without consent — perhaps without discussion — with family or patient.

“Maine gov orders state to back mom in legal battle over baby’s DNR order”
(Fox News — September 5, 2014)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage reversed state bureaucrats and vowed to defy a state Supreme Court ruling if necessary to back a teen mom seeking to lift a “Do Not Resuscitate” order from her one-year-old baby, who was allegedly shaken into a coma but miraculously recovered.

“Unilateral Non Resuscitation at Mass. General!”
(National Review Online — May 12, 2014)
According to a medical study, since 2006, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Bioethics Committee has forced people to not receive wanted resuscitation by imposing unilateral DNRs. And apparently, it’s all done in Star Chamber secrecy….And who can be surprised that non-whites were more likely to have an involuntary DNR imposed?

“Unilateral Do-Not-Attempt Resuscitation Orders In A Large Academic Hospital”
(Medical Futility Blog — May 11, 2014)
Unilateral Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders are a specific type of medical futility decision in which clinicians withhold advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of cardiopulmonary arrest despite objections of patients or their surrogates.

“Do patients understand what ‘DNR’ means?”
(POLST-views blogspot — May 5, 2014)
The very top box of the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) addresses cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  The forms vary slightly from state to state but basically, there are two boxes: “attempt resuscitation” and “do not attempt resuscitation/DNR”. Do patients understand what it means to have a DNR box checked?  A recent study suggests that many do not.

“‘But Doctor, I Want to Live’: The Other Side Of The ‘Dignified Death’ Debate” 
(Forbes — December 18, 2013)
The emerging narrative about “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) orders is that they are not utilized frequently enough….But there is another perspective as well, highlighted by a recent experience I just learned about, involving the mother of a friend.

“New Data to Consider in D.N.R. Decisions
(New York Times — 3/14/13)
Every year in the United States, about 100,000 hospital patients age 65 and older experience what is known in medical parlance as Code Blue.  Their hearts stop, and a medical team is summoned to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

“Forced DNR Coming to Texas?”
(National Review — 2/11/13)
The state with the worst futile care law in the nation now has legislation pending that would enable doctors to place DNR (do not resuscitate) orders on a patient’s chart without notice or permission — even if the patient is competent!