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Doctor's new tat: 'Do not resuscitate'


Skye
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AN emergency medicine specialist has given himself an 80th birthday present with a difference – he's had DO NOT RESUSCITATE tattooed across his chest.

Albert Cutter has performed enough resuscitations to know what his wishes would be if the tables were turned and he was the patient.

 

"I've done many, many resuscitations and the ones that survive that are OK without any problems are a very small percentage, probably not more than six per cent," he said.

 

"If I have a cardiac arrest, it's due to something being wrong. It's due to a disease or a disorder. Rarely is it accidental, except like in electric shock.

 

"Unless I was in an emergency room with a monitor and a defibrillator immediately available, the results would probably not be good."

 

Dr Cutter, who works as a GP locum in the Newcastle area, said although he wasn't usually an advocate of tattooing, he wanted to make his wishes about resuscitation clearly known.

 

"In most cases, when you have any cardiac or respiratory arrest, you're unconscious and so you can't convey your wishes to anyone," he said.

 

"Many people state it in their will or testament that they would not want to be resuscitated but in usual cases where it occurs, that information's not available."

 

Without a clear directive – such as his tattoo – Dr Cutter said he feared ending up paralysed and conscious, but unable to express his desires about resuscitation.

 

"The other thing is if I was brain dead ... I wouldn't want to be a drag on society," Dr Cutter said.

 

"In other words, in keeping a body alive, I think it's a waste of time and money."

 

Dr Cutter has lived in Australia since 1981 after working as an emergency medicine specialist in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Reno.

 

He came to Australia after suffering burn out following a decade working in LA.

 

"After 10 years ... I got tired of packing a .38 in my shoulder holster and came over here where I don't have to," he said.

 

Despite the gravity of his tattoo message, the octogenarian hasn't lost his sense of humour.

 

"It'd be my luck that they wouldn't open my shirt ... before commencing CPR," he quipped.

 

Now that can't be a good thing.

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Very frightening to have him as a GP.

Do not resuscitate in the UK usually is expressed by the family of a suffering terminally ill patient.

I dont like his take on cardiac arrests,yes they are usually results of something being wrong!!

However very treatable,my father was resuscitated 4 times after suffering a heart attack(due to smoking and drinking alot) apart from being on medication for life,he is now pretty healthy and should live hopefully a long time.

Perhaps he views spending 19 years in a coma as a waste of taxpayers money.

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I expect that he would work to the utmost degree on someone else if he didn't know their wishes. One thing to be considered is his age. If he was resussitated and then had to have open heart surgery, he would have far less chance for a successful recovery than a younger person.

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He sounds like an eminently sensible man.

 

Often resussitation of elderly, terminatially ill people is simply a matter of an undignified prolongment of pain and suffering.

 

There is a huge difference between killing someone and allowing them to die. Eventually we all have to die, hopefully we will be able to do it with a modicum of dignity, not being hooked up to machines and blasted with electric shocks after it has ceased to have any meaning.

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  • 2 months later...

It's a little funny to read aardvark's last post and then the signature lol

 

What do you think the policy should be for terminally ill patients incapable of making a decision? such as in a coma or mentally ill?

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He sounds like an eminently sensible man.

 

Often resussitation of elderly' date=' terminatially ill people is simply a matter of an undignified prolongment of pain and suffering.

 

There is a huge difference between killing someone and allowing them to die. Eventually we all have to die, hopefully we will be able to do it with a modicum of dignity, not being hooked up to machines and blasted with electric shocks after it has ceased to have any meaning.[/quote']

 

Agreed. It seems to me that some people don't want to prolong their life and become a "vegetable" and/or incur hundreds of thousands in medical bills to hold on to this "life", and I believe that this is a personal choice that should be respected. As a doctor himself, it is doubtless that he has seen many patients brought back to life and realizes that modern medicine does not cure all and can let life hang in limbo, sometimes indefidently. Do I consider myself alive if I am in such a state? For me personally, that answer would be NO. :-(

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It's a little funny to read aardvark's last post and then the signature lol

 

What do you think the policy should be for terminally ill patients incapable of making a decision? such as in a coma or mentally ill?

In the US, 'Living Wills' are legal, although often disputed (cf the recent case in Florida). In the UK, living wills are not recognised under law. However, I think they are the way to go. They really are the only way to access the wishes of a patient who is otherwise incapable of making them known.

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