alexa Ethical issues in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Clinical Research

Clinical Research

Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

Author(s): Holm S, Jrgensen EO

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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.

This article was published in Resuscitation and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics

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