A study has highlighted an unusual case, where doctors had to decide what to do about a patient who had a "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo.
Medical professionals today understand that people with severe health problems would often prefer that nothing extraordinary be done to prolong their lives. Do not resuscitate orders are common in the medical files of the elderly and the terminally ill.
However, a medical ethics study recently brought to light an unusual case that was not so clear.
An unconscious 70-year-old man was brought into the hospital. He had a high blood alcohol level and a tattoo that read "Do Not Resuscitate."
Doctors had to figure out whether to follow the directions of the tattoo, as CNN reported in "A man's tattoo left doctors debating whether to save his life."
The doctors determined at first that they should ignore the tattoo and try to save the man's life.
Then they discussed the matter with an ethics consultant and reached the opposite conclusion.
The man's written do not resuscitate directive was later found and the problem was cleared up. The man passed away.
This is an interesting case for medical ethicists.
It is also interesting in the sense that doctors will follow the advanced directives of their patients.
If you would like to write down your advanced medical directives and make them legally binding without debate, then you shouldn’t get a tattoo directive. Visit an estate planning attorney instead.
Reference: CNN (Dec. 12, 2017) "A man's tattoo left doctors debating whether to save his life."