A man in Miami has arrived at the hospital unconscious, and when the doctors had stripped off they found a tattoo just below the neck with the words ‘do not resuscitate’ (do not resuscitate) in upper case characters and the ‘not’ underlined and the signature
The story is described in the New England Journal of Medicine, and concluded with the staff that has respected the will of man: after consultation with a bioethicist. The man, 70 years, had chronic problems with the lungs and heart, as well as diabetes.
Arrived at Jackson Memorial Hospital, as doctors tried to awaken him without success, and the patient had no sign of identification that could be traced back to the family, to understand whether the decision expressed by the tattoo was meditated or the result of an impulse.
“At the beginning we have decided not to honor the tattoo – the authors write – invoking the principle of not making a decision is irreversible without certainty.
” The consultation with the bioethicist of the university of Miami’s Kenneth Goodman, however, has led to the decision opposite. “Experts have suggested that it was more reasonable to think that the tattoo would express a preference authentic”.
After the consultation, the doctors have also found a written statement on end-of-life from the part of the patient, and have stopped the procedure more invasive. “The condition of the men worsened during the night, – concludes the article – and is dead. .