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  #1  
Old Mar 2, '08, 1:51 pm
Naztakuan Naztakuan is offline
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Question What is the Church's position on DNR?

Some people who may have debilitating and potentially fatal illnesses have Do not resusitate requests made and often written on their person to discourage doctors from resuscitating them either via def fibrillation or otherwise. Since this person is technically "dead", when it comes to a prolife stance, is the doctor obligated to revive the patient or to honor their request?
I know the Church is pro life but that doesn't mean they are anti-death either. For example, extreme measures like say that of Christopher Reeves before his death were just that...extreme. Unless it was per his request, I don't think it was medically an obligation for him to be hooked up to that breathing machine for the few years he lived until his body completely failed even with the breathing apparatus. I'm not completely sure about the Catholic approach to medical ethics other than "do no harm" and "basic food and water" I know there is caring for the sick, but are all the potentially lifesaving methods morally necessary? If someone says she doesn't want to get a surgery that could save her life but potentially cause serious damage as well, is she morally obligated to recieve it? Or can she refuse? Either she can possibly die on the operating table or they can go home and enjoy the little time tshe has left.

This is just hypotheitical btw. I'm taking emergency response classes and I was just wondering about that. They say if the person is conscious and you offer to give them CPR and they refuse, there isn't much you can o without getting yourself a big fat lawsuit. Apparently doctors can get in trouble for saving someone's life if that person has a DNR. Go figure.
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  #2  
Old Mar 2, '08, 2:14 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

The Church does not require extraordinary means be used to keep someone alive.
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  #3  
Old Mar 2, '08, 2:20 pm
Naztakuan Naztakuan is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
The Church does not require extraordinary means be used to keep someone alive.
but what if they are technically already dead? This happens lots of times which is why people go to the ER. Zapping someone back to life which is a doctor's job, is within the parameters of extraordinary. But if the person doesn't want to be zapped, is the doctor obligated to respect the order not to turn their heart back on even if it's really a very simple albiet unnatural procedure?
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Old Mar 2, '08, 10:22 pm
ASimpleSinner ASimpleSinner is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naztakuan View Post
but what if they are technically already dead? This happens lots of times which is why people go to the ER. Zapping someone back to life which is a doctor's job, is within the parameters of extraordinary. But if the person doesn't want to be zapped, is the doctor obligated to respect the order not to turn their heart back on even if it's really a very simple albiet unnatural procedure?
Yes.

I worked with DNR patients as a Dyalisis technician in college... It could be a little scary at times. But honestly, people who are otherwise perfectly healthy don't have DNRs orders made on the off chance that they will be perfectly healthy and a "zap to get 'em back" will return or restore them to a healthy uncomplicated life. Perfectly healthy people don't have these on file and just happen to catch some bad luck. These are complicated situations.
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  #5  
Old Mar 3, '08, 4:48 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

Sorry but what is DNR?
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  #6  
Old Mar 3, '08, 5:15 am
Catholic_Mike Catholic_Mike is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

I think these are complicated issues and a person has to be careful. In some circumstances I think a DNR order might actually cause doctors to do something in violation of the Church's teaching, especially if it's written poorly. I heard a great discussion of all this on EWTN radio a while back, but unfortunately I don't know what the program was. I think the general suggestion was that it's better to pick someone as your advocate rather than try and make up a living will or whatever that lists ever possible contingency, but I could be remembering wrong.
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Old Mar 3, '08, 7:31 am
Newbie2 Newbie2 is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thistle View Post
Sorry but what is DNR?
It's a directive that specifies "Do Not Recessitate" (spelling may be off, it's early...). Many times it's used with an elderly patient who isn't likely to recover from a disease condtion, i.e. advanced heart failure. If they go into ventricular fibrillation, the directive allows doctors to allow the person to die without taking any intervening action.
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  #8  
Old Mar 3, '08, 8:51 am
Naztakuan Naztakuan is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

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Originally Posted by thistle View Post
Sorry but what is DNR?
DO NOT RESUSCITATE
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  #9  
Old Mar 3, '08, 11:27 am
Newbie2 Newbie2 is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naztakuan View Post
DO NOT RESUSCITATE
Thanx, I ned to lern howe too spel.
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  #10  
Old Mar 3, '08, 3:14 pm
rwoehmke rwoehmke is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naztakuan View Post
This is just hypotheitical btw. I'm taking emergency response classes and I was just wondering about that. They say if the person is conscious and you offer to give them CPR and they refuse, there isn't much you can o without getting yourself a big fat lawsuit. Apparently doctors can get in trouble for saving someone's life if that person has a DNR. Go figure.
I was a trained EMT for ten years and I cannot imagine why one would do CPR on a conscious patient. If the patient is conscious he is breathing and his heart is pumping. CPR is only going to make things worse by interfering with his natural functioning. If there is difficulty breathing administer oxygen unless he has emphysemia. In that situation be careful too much oxygen can cause breathing to shut down. If he is having a heart attack administer aspirin and nitroglycerin. Do not get in there and interfere with his rhythm unless his heart stops. If I was breathing and my heart was beating I would sure sue for malpractice if you forceds CPR upon me.

DNR means in most cases the patient is dying from some cause and just wants to let the disease take him without forcing him to come around and start dying all over again. Feeding tubes and hydration are usually not a part of resuscitation which means you don't have to worry about that. I cannot imagine a situation where an EMT or First Responder would be dealing with a DNR notice.

When someone stops breathing and the heart stops, you will have about a 3 or 4 minute window to start CPR. Any more than that and you risk bringing a vegetable back to life.
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  #11  
Old Mar 3, '08, 4:00 pm
ASimpleSinner ASimpleSinner is offline
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Default Re: What is the Church's position on DNR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie2 View Post
Thanx, I ned to lern howe too spel.
me tu.

I am imfamus 4 mi tipos!
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