Time to revise the approach to determining cardiopulmonary resuscitation status

PUBMED ID:

22396511

PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

Authors:

Blinderman CD, Krakauer EL, Solomon MZ

Institution:

Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University Medical Center, 622 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032, USA. cdb21@columbia.edu

Title:

Time to revise the approach to determining cardiopulmonary resuscitation status

Source

JAMA. 2012 Mar 7;307(9):917-8

Excerpt

In US hospitals, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the de facto default option—patients must “opt out” by requesting or consenting to a do-not-attempt-resuscitation order. Despite its worthy intent, requiring all patients or their surrogates to consent to a do-not-attempt-resuscitation order to avoid CPR has resulted in an ethically unjustifiable practice that exposes many patients to substantial harms.

Whenever there is a plausible risk of cardiac arrest, the standard approach is to ask patients or their surrogates about their preferences regarding CPR. However, the very act of asking can suggest to the patient and family that CPR may be beneficial, even when the clinician believes otherwise. Additionally, research in cognitive psychology has revealed that default options are often interpreted as recommendations or guidelines, or as the path of least resistance, and that such default options significantly affect decision making.1 For these reasons, patients or their surrogates may be biased toward choosing …

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