“Living wills” may be a variety of documents and are generally not helpful in deciding whether a patient wants resuscitation. Living wills generally have wording as a “directive to physicians” to withhold care, if the patient has an incurable disease or illness certified to be a terminal condition by two physicians, where life sustaining procedures would only artificially prolong death and death will occur in a relatively short time. These conditions are not met if somebody has a cardiac arrest and paramedics are called. No one at that time knows whether or not the patient will respond and the certification by two physicians obviously cannot be performed. The living will or directive to physicians cannot be honored as a Do Not Resuscitate order in the field. back to top
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