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ETHICS IN MEDICINE   University of Washington School of Medicine

Do Not Resuscitate Orders:
Case 1

Mr. H is a 24-year-old man who resides in a skilled nursing facility, where he is undergoing rehabilitation from a cervical spine injury. The injury left him quadriplegic. He has normal cognitive function and no problems with respiration. He is admitted to your service for treatment of pneumonia. The resident suggests antibiotics, chest physiotherapy, and hydration. One day while signing out Mr. H to the cross covering intern, the intern says "he should be a DNR, based on medical futility."

Do you agree? Is his case medically futile, and if so, why?

Discussion

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