Do Not Resuscitate Orders -- Managing the Dilemma
Craig, Douglas B.
Webster, George C.
Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia. 1998 May; 45(5 Pt2 Suppl): R160-R165.
The status of DNR orders (or equivalent declarations) in patients undergoing surgery will continue to present considerable challenges for both healthcare providers and patients, or their alternate decision makers. It is essential that all parties understand the specifics of each DNR order, focusing not only on the actual content of the order or declaration but also on the context in terms of location, timing and circumstance. The principle of "respect for persons" should guide, inform and shape the approach followed with each patient. Meaningful dialogue and "negotiation" will be required. Make no assumptions! The "required reconsideration" of pre-existing DNR orders should be the basic approach followed. There is no single "solution" for all DNR-related issues in the peri-operative period. What may appear obvious to the anaesthetist may be viewed entirely differently by the patient, or even by other members of the care giving team. There is no justification for either the automatic suspension or the automatic continuation of DNR orders in patients undergoing surgery. A patient-specific and situation-specific approach and "solution" is required. Similar principles will apply in acute care settings other than the operating room. Full engagement by health care workers in the processes addressing these issues should be a personally enriching experience.
Advance Directives; Anesthesia; Autonomy; Communication; Consent; Directive Adherence; Disease; DNR Orders; Do Not Resuscitate Orders; Goals; Guidelines; Health; Health Care; Hospitals; Iatrogenic Disease; Informed Consent; Institutional Policies; Organizations; Patient Care; Patient Care Team; Patients; Physicians; Professional Organizations; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Selection for Treatment; Surgery; Third Party Consent; Uncertainty; Values; Withholding Treatment;