Increasing Use of DNR Orders in the Elderly Worldwide: Whose Choice Is It?
Journal of Medical Ethics 2002 October; 28(5): 303-307
Most elderly patients die with an order in place that they not be given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNR order). Surveys have shown that many elderly in different parts of the world want to be resuscitated, but may lack knowledge about the specifics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Data from countries other than the US is limited, but differences in physician and patient opinions by nationality regarding CPR do exist. Physicians' own preferences for CPR may predominate in the DNR decision making process for their patients, and many physicians may not want the participation of the elderly or believe that it is necessary. More complete and earlier discussions of a wider range of options of care for patients at the end of life have been advocated. The process ought to include education for patients about the process and efficacy of CPR, and for physicians on how to consider the values and levels of knowledge of their patients, whose preferences may differ from their own.
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Response To: Increasing Use of DNR Orders in the Elderly Worldwide: Whose Choice Is It Lawson, A.D. (2003-12)