Recently, there was a very sad story about an 87 year old woman collapsed at her independent living facility in Bakersfield, California. Click Here for the Article 911 was called. A staff member refused to perform CPR and the woman passed away. Outrage spread across the internet. However, the family recently reported the facility was following the woman’s end of life wishes- she did not want any intervention. It is possible to execute an “Emergency Medical Services Prehospital Do Not Resuscitate” form, commonly referred to as a DNR, to alert emergency personnel you do not wish to be resuscitated.
We have a blog post discussing the importance of executing an Advance Heath Care Directive, especially when it comes to end of life decisions. In addition to taking those important steps, certain situations may also warrant having a DNR form. While the majority of people probably do not need a DNR it is important to evaluate your health situation and discuss with your health care professional and attorney if it would be appropriate to have one readily available at your residence should emergency personnel be called.
California Emergency Medical Services Authority website has a great frequently asked questions page about DNR forms. Here As they point out, an Advance Health Care Directive is an important document however, most EMS personnel are not trained to read through a multi-page document in the time constraints of an emergency situation to determine if a person does not wish to be resuscitated.
Overall, consider your options, make sure you talk to your health care professional and loved ones and make sure you have any appropriate documentation you may need to ensure emergency personnel would know what to do should they be called to your residence.