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Friday, June 3, 2011

Patients with DNR orders may face poorer outcomes

Here is some real food for thought, especially for those of you out there who haven't bothered with signing a health care directive. The results of a recent study suggest that patients with a DNR ("do not resuscitate") order were at least twice as likely to die shortly after surgery.

Click here to read the article from

I recommend that all adults have a health care directive in place. As I've said many times before, think twice - or maybe three or four times - before you include a DNR direction. DNR does NOT mean "if I am in a vegetative state let me go, or a chronic disease has wasted me down to nothing, end my suffering".

It means that you do not want to be resuscitated at all, ever, under any circumstances. Even if you are otherwise healthy but have a heart attack or stroke from which a person might normally expect to recover. If your document says "DNR" you don't get a chance to say "oh but THIS time I want to be resuscitated, this isn't what I meant".

This might be a good time to look at your own health care directive and remind yourself of what it says.

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