Would you choose the do not resuscitate option for a family member?
If given the choice of 'do not resuscitate' for a family member in serious critical care, what would your decision be? Why?
Most of the time that is a decision that the family member will make themselves, especially before a risky surgery or a heavy diagnosis.
My husband and I have spoken about it and if the time comes where I have been dead for several minutes or something similar he will make sure they don't bring me back. We both have this in writing so that we have the right to make that decision. Where I live if you do not have it in writing or a DNR then the hospital is required to make all attempts to save you no matter what your family says.
We have been given the choice and we decided 'not to resuscitate' when it was my Mum. The doctor at another hospital made a decision on his own back when my Mum was first admitted 'not to resuscitate' and we got that changed, as we felt he had no right to make that decision without consultation with us and because it was, in our opinion far too soon for this. We felt at that particular time, that he wasn't giving Mum a chance to fight back.
When she was transferred to specialist unit in another hospital the doctors and nurses were superb. It was only after constant battles that we realised that nature had to take it's course and that Mum had been through enough suffering. The doctors and nurses supported us throughout our time of making the decision and although it was tough, you do have to do what is right for your loved one and not add to their suffering needlessly, through unintentional but selfish needs to keep trying everything to get your loved one better.
If the circumstances happened again, I would still chose to opt for 'no' for rescuss. There comes a point when life is no longer viable and you have to allow the mind and the physical body of the ill person to decide when life is no longer sustainable, rather than opting for artificial support that adds to suffering instead of relieving it.
Do not resuscitate was chosen for one of my grandmothers. She had Alzheimer's and had been in assisted living for 10+ years. When she first went into assisted living she had some quality of life but as the years went on, her quality of life ceased to exist. She could not communicate with people and did not know any of her family members or the staff at her facility. It was as if she simply breathed and that was it. My father once said that the mother he knew and loved had died years before the do not resuscitate order was put into effect and I would agree that was a true statement. Given her quality of life at the end, it was a good decision. She was 86 years old when she died.
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