Do-Not-Resuscitate: Legal and Ethical Issues
(Bishop, Brothers, Perry & Ahmad, 2010).
The issues that encompass the DNR directive are between prolonging life and death, as is the legality and moral acceptance of giving up on a life in futility proffer a questionable gray area. A continuous debate is ensued among ethicists about physicians who intentionally or knowingly end a life are executing a murderous act. Particularly, if a patient has a terminal illness with a low quality of life, suffering and has expressed the wish to forego resuscitative measures why deny that an individual when complications of the illness send that patient to the emergency room? Just allowing a person die without resuscitation may compare to assisting the patient in committing suicide. Bringing a person back to life who wanted to die, facing a terminal illness suffering by enduring pain and an undignified quality of life is part of the ever-present gray area that continues to perplex medical professionals regardless of guidelines, laws and policies pertaining to the DNR. Medical professionals cannot predict whether the resuscitation will be successful. Murphy and Price (2007) for Nursing Management, relate that the CPR/DNR order is not “a plan of care” but a plan of “contingency… [and] there are entire classes of hospitalized patients for whom CPR almost never works.” Physicians following through with a DNR order medically knowing the