Do-Not-Resuscitate: Legal and Ethical Issues

3293 words 14 pages
Do-Not-Resuscitate: Legal and Ethical Issues Most cultures value life and bringing persons back from the dead is a popular subject of many fictional books. However, as technology evolves and the story of Frankenstein reborn with a bolt of lighting has come true with the external or implanted defibrillators, the natural process of death slows as much of society gains the knowledge to live longer than nature intended. The Red Cross Association taught many organizations like the girl and boy scouts the methods of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, a manual manipulation of the heart, as life saving methods for drowning, electrocution or heart attacks. First aid for laypersons to save lives as well as …show more content…
(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


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