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March 17, 1989

In-Hospital Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Author Affiliations

Nebraska Methodist Hospital Omaha

Nebraska Methodist Hospital Omaha

JAMA. 1989;261(11):1580. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420110053010

To the Editor.—  In their recent report regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Taffet et al1 indicated that none of their patients aged 70 years and older lived to discharge. We are being asked quite rightly to consider issuing a do-not-resuscitate order during the course of hospitalization, and now, even at the time of admission,2 when it does not seem that a specific patient's prognosis justifies the performance of these heroic measures. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is being described increasingly as "futile"2 and as working relatively infrequently.3 And now, an official do-not-resuscitate policy has become a requirement for hospital accreditation.4With the anticipated increasing age of our population, it is apparent that the issue of age becoming a criterion in the decision-making process is real and may come to play a major role in the decision of the issuing of a do-not-resuscitate order, especially if it is perceived as