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Ethical issues in cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Holm, Soren and Jorgensen, E.O. 2001. Ethical issues in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Resuscitation 50 (2) , pp. 135-139. 10.1016/S0300-9572(01)00346-X

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Abstract

If patients are to benefit from resuscitation, they must regain consciousness and their full faculties. In recent years, we have acquired important information about the natural history of neurological recovery from circulatory arrest. There are clinical tests that predict the outcome, both during ongoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and in the period after restoration of spontaneous circulation. The ability to predict neurological outcome at this stage offers a basis for certain ethical considerations, which are not exclusively centered on “do-not-attempt-resuscitation” (DNAR)- orders. Instead of being forced to make the decision that “I do not want CPR”, the patient should be able to decide that “I want resuscitation to be discontinued, if you predict that I will not recover to a level of neurological function that is acceptable to me”. Ideally, no competent patient should be given a DNAR-status without his or her consent. No CPR-attempt should be stopped, and no treatment decision for a patient recovering after CPR should be taken without knowing and assessing the available information. Good ethical decision-making requires reliable facts, which we now know are available.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: cardiopulmonary arrest; resuscitation orders; decision-making; clinical ethics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0300-9572
Date of Acceptance: 30 January 2001
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2017 10:02
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/66192

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