Abandoning the term “do not resuscitate”

Life support

Life supportFollowing up on my post from last week, I read this very interesting article a while ago that I have been wanting to share. In it, the author argues for getting rid of the term “do not resuscitate” and replacing it with “allow natural death” instead. He explains that the DNR mentality suggests that patients are no longer getting any care, which is the opposite – palliative and hospice care are still available, but patients are not given extraordinary measures that will postpone death and not prolong life.

That is the key piece for me: are you postponing death or preserving and prolonging meaningful life? Keeping someone’s body alive is not meaningful. It does not give them back their independence; often, they never leave the hospital. Requiring the body to remain breathing through a machine, with dozens of other tubes running in and out of them, is not an end that most of us would wish for, but it is sadly what happens to far too many people who do not think about the issue ahead of time.

It is better to have it written down, but you should at least discuss the end with your loved ones. Think about it, and consider requesting the doctors to allow natural death.