March 28, 1994

No Ultimatums for Resuscitation Policy

Author Affiliations

Douglaston, NY

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(6):699-700. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420060139016

It must have taken quite a bit of chutzpah for Murphy and Finucane in their article entitled "New Do-Not-Resuscitate Policies"1 to have approached the do-not-resuscitate question with a purported primary emphasis on cost control while admitting in their article that "the actual monetary savings from new do-not-resuscitate policies would be small." So, why then do they make their suggestions to limit "freedom of choice" for patients on this issue? The reason I quote from their article, "A culture that supports unlimited patient autonomy... will constantly struggle with the limits necessary for cost control." I wish to remind the authors that our nation constantly struggles with many issues, not all of them health related. Our very system of government represents a balance of powers with constant bickering and power "tug-of-wars" between different political parties, special interest groups, geographic regions, various religious beliefs, and alternative visions of the future. To forge

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