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When a "Do Not Resuscitate" Order is Not Enough

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

Catherine had often discussed with her daughter, Lisa, that she did not want to have any special measures in place when "the end" came. She had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer that had spread throughout her body. Despite this, she remained relatively active in her house, cooking, cleaning and watching her favorite program, “The Price is Right”, on a regular basis. Still, home health care workers stopped in daily to help with minor housekeeping chores that she was unable to complete.

First responders are not bound by DNR orders,

“Mom was adamant that she didn’t want to be resuscitated if her heart stopped,” said Lisa. "Especially after watching some medical show where she saw a patient's ribs were broken, and the lung collapsed as the result of CPR. To her, death was part of life and she wanted to be allowed to die when the time came. So, we did her advanced directives and got the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, taping it in plain sight on her refrigerator. We thought we were all set.”