DNR Orders In Patients Who Assisted Suicide Case Study

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The Ethics Of Mortality: DNR Orders in Patients Who Attempt Suicide
Background
During one of my clinical rounds at Mahelona Hospital, I encountered a patient who stated that she was upset with her quality of life. She went on to explain that a few months prior she was in a car accident. It was a catastrophic wreck that required her to be intubated, held in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for about a week, and unable to walk without assistance. However, she feels she shouldn’t have survived the crash, or lived past that point, as she had a Do- Not-Resuscitate order. This order, also know as a DNR, is a medical order written by a doctor that instructs healthcare providers to not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event the patient stops breathing or heart stops beating (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014). The Mahelona patient stated that she was appalled when she awoke in the ICU, and how she was upset at the hospital and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for not following through with the DNR order. At the time of our meeting, this patient was being held at Mahelona for attempted suicide. This encounter stemmed my interest in the ethical dilemma of honoring DNR orders for patients who attempt suicide. For
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By countermanding the DNR order in the interest of providing a better outcome for the patient, it allows time for the patient to be treated for their mental illness. This is similar to when a patient is involuntarily hospitalized for their self-destructive behavior. This can result an improvement in mood or depression, leading to no further wishes of committing suicide. However, DNR laws do not provide clear guidance for clients who are mentally ill (Cook, 2010). Because of this, the author Geppert concludes that, the patient should only be resuscitated if they have a likelihood of recovering from the event

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