Key words Do-not-resuscitate (DNR)
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Background. The purpose of this study was to investigate physicians' perspectives on do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders at Tokai University hospital, where a euthanasia-like accident occurred several years ago. Methods. A "questionnaire on DNR orders" survey was administered to physicians and the anonymous answers were collected 2 weeks later. Results. Answers were received from 150 of the 400 physicians (37.5%) (surveyed from every department), and revealed that more than 90% of the physicians felt that DNRs were occasionally necessary and that more than 60% of the physicians stated that they had performed DNR. Only 14% of the physicians answered that the patient's consent would be indispensable, and 78% stated that the patient's family and the physician could decide on DNR without the patient's consent being given. Only half of the physicians stated that they regarded it as necessary that DNR order sheets be established hospital policy, and more than 20% of the physicians stated that such an order sheet would not be necessary. Conclusion. There is, in fact, a tacit understanding regarding DNR between physicians and patients/families in medical practice in Japan. However, DNR orders constitute definite medical decisions and procedures. Therefore, such orders should be clearly stated in a standardized format, although such procedures do not seem to be acceptable in the context of the Japanese traditional value system.
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