Do We Resist The Order

Because the class itself has not touched upon the medical topic in a while, I was interested to read the article. I personally am not very familiar with the “Do Not Resuscitate” order, so I had to do a little bit of research before commenting on this subject.Whilst researching what the DNR order consists of, I actually came across a personal account of how an individual’s mother was very adamant about her DNR order and that she wanted it carried out no matter what (Link). Because she had a lot of experience with death as a nurse, she did not want to wake up hooked up to machines which the author of the post described as a “scary, frightening, powerless feeling.” Although I was aware of the technical aspect of the DNR order, I have never really thought of the reason why someone may ask to have a DNR order be put into place. I have always simply thought of the order as a way for those who are sick to pass peacefully instead of prolonging their death. I think this further opened my eyes to being aware of the part of the order other than just the fact that someone especially sick does not want to be sick anymore.

I find this interesting in parallel to another blog post I found online about a physician’s point of the view of the order (link). The doctor made the point that for something as valuable as a life, it should be held onto as much as possible if an individual can still “think, communicate, create and enjoy life.” As doctors who take the Hippocratic Oath and vow to help others whenever they can, their training prepares them for exactly the opposite of what a DNR order requires them to do: let someone die. Of course, it doesn’t have to be as grim as I’m making it sound. Although I agree that someone should live their life for as long as they can, I am at a loss for words if someone tells me that they have been hurting for so long and would rather pass when the time has come than to prolong their suffering. However, following a DNR order does not necessarily mean dying whilst suffering. Within the first blog post I mentioned, the author describes how his mother would like “comfort measures” which includes administering the patient pain medication, IV fluid, and/or feeding tubes so that their last moments to pass will be peaceful.

For a topic such as prolonging an individual’s life, I can see why the doctors were so distressed over something as informal as a tattoo serving as a DNR order in place of the physical document. Fortunately, the hospital was able to find the actual document so any legal actions cannot be held against them, but it makes me wonder what could have happened in the case that the physical copy was not found. Especially if the DNR on the man’s chest was not to be taken seriously, the repercussions that will reflect on the physicians would be new to the current medical world as well. I would be interested to see how the current medical world will continue to respond to this situation and whether they will update their regulations regarding situations such as this.

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