LEGAL QUESTIONS: Bowing to family pressure

April 2005 
Volume 35  Number 4
Pages 24 - 25
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(4)             April 2005             p 24–25 Bowing to family pressure [LEGAL QUESTIONS: SIDESTEPPING DNR ORDER]


As an experienced ICU nurse, I'm wondering where I stand after a recent conflict over a do-notresuscitate (DNR) order. One evening, the attending physician placed a brand-new resident in charge of a patient with severe hypokalemia and low blood pressure who was near death. Before leaving for the night, the attending physician said that the patient had DNR status .

Then the family came in, insisting that the resident do all he could do to keep the patient alive until his daughter arrived, DNR order or not. Their loud and emotional demands really got to the young physician. He ordered I.V. vasopressors and potassium, although neither of these was indicated given the patient's ...

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