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Do Not Resuscitate Orders

Posted 8 years 261 days ago ago by Danielle Streed

America was faced with a tragedy at a California senior living facility when an 87 year old died after an employee at the elder home refused to provide CPR to the resident. As a result of this incident it has brought up many questions regarding Michigan’s rules involving Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders and whether or not we should perform resuscitation or if we should be hands-off. Under the Michigan Statute a DNR order can be executed by an individual 18 years of age or older that is of sound mind or by an individuals Patient Advocate, if they are unable to make the decision themselves. The DNR order requires the signature of the patient, the patient’s doctor and two disinterested witnesses. The only exception to obtaining the doctors signature is if an individual is adherent of a church or religious denomination whose members rely on spiritual means through prayer alone, not medical healing.

What does it mean to not resuscitate? Basically, an EMS provider shall not attempt to resuscitate any individual who is 18 of age or older, has no vital signs, which means no pulse or evidence of respiration or the patient is wearing a DNR bracelet or the EMS provider is provided with a DNR order from the patient or the patient’s advocate. It would appear from the statute that if the EMS provider is not aware of the patients wishes regarding a DNR order, that the EMS would be obligated to make every effort to resuscitate the person. Therefore, as a patient if you are adamant about your DNR, the form and/or the bracelet needs to be clearly presented, posted or worn in the form of a bracelet. The patient should make sure that a copy of the Do Not Resuscitate order is provided to the patient advocate, the doctor, any facility that the patient resides at and possibly neighbors.

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