Do Not Resuscitate

From ArticleWorld

Do Not Resuscitate refers to a legally valid and binding order from a doctor concerning resuscitation of a person with cardiac and respiratory failure, that is, a person very close to death, usually from unavoidable causes or during serious surgery. Usually people with terminal, inevitably fatal illnesses wish to simply die when they die, since neither their disease nor quality of life would improve – and sometimes might even deteriorate – if they were 'brought back' from the brink of death. They would rather avoid the added pain and trauma of invasive medical procedures such as intubation.

Ethical issues

DNR is a sticky topic in bioethics and debated by both sides on grounds of compassion, religion, socioeconomics, the Hippocratic oath, and more. It is also a legally complex matter getting a DNR order and making sure that a hospital in a particular jurisdiction will follow it. Not all countries allow DNR orders, and many critics say that it is the duty of society to repect the sanctity of life. That is, people must be kept alive no matter what their physical or mental condition, and that withholding cardpiopulomary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) is morally no different from killing a person. Others argue that the choice to live or due is a fundamental human right of every individual, and that keeping a person artifically alive or prolonging the life of a person with chronic pain is unnatural and drains emotional, financial, and medical resources.

Validity of DNR orders

Generally, in the absence of any firm DNR orders, or when the jurisdiction of the order is different from the hospital a person is brought into, resuscitation is attempted as a matter of course by the paramedics, doctors, and nurses in attendance. Often a DNR order from ne district ir state will not be acknowledged in another. In places where the law is clear on the right of people to ask doctors to issue DNR orders, anyone attempting resuscitation when told not to would face legal consequences.