Time to Re-Brand “Do Not Resuscitate”

Stories of hospitals being subjected to civil litigation for failing to intervene or, alternately, for wrongfully intervening to resuscitate a patient using advanced life support are quite common. These unfortunate incidents typically have at their core three central figures:   A dying patient; The dying patient’s family; and A healthcare professional who misunderstands the meaning of the term: “do not resuscitate.” What Does “Do Not Resuscitate” Actually Mean? The term “Do Not Resuscitate” (also referred to by its acronym DNR) means that a patient should not receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of cardiopulmonary arrest. This is a situation where the patient...

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Skin in the Game – Should Doctors Comply with a “Do Not Resuscitate” Tattoo?

Many patients find it difficult to communicate their end-of-life wishes to family members and doctors at critical points of time, especially if you are confronted with a sudden or unexpected ailment. There are legal documents designed to help address this important issue. For example, your estate planning attorney can draft an advance directive that tells your doctor and loved ones what kind of medical care you desire if you are incapacitated or deemed unable to make such decisions. You can also draft a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order to be included with your advance directive. A DNR is a request not to...

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