Tattoos are life or death. According to the literal
Last summer, when he arrived at the Miami hospital, the man was unconscious. He was seventy years old and very ill.
“At first we were told he was drunk,” recalls Dr. Gregory holt, a first-aid doctor. “but he didn’t wake up.
“He’s not breathing, he’s got copd, and that’s what’s going to get us back up,” holt said. “But tattoos make it complicated.
Tattoo across the man’s chest. It says “don’t recover”. His signature was finally tattooed.
“We were shocked,” holt recalled. “We don’t know what to do.”
Tattoos and the hospital about the decision sparked across the country, they need doctors and medical ethicists how to effectively express their scrap desire, and how to make it easier to policy makers.
In the United States, the standard way to tell your doctor that you want to be allowed to die is to sign the official form, saying you don’t want to recover. This means that, among other things, if you stop breathing, you don’t want your doctor to do CPR or use a ventilator to keep you alive.
But signing official forms does not guarantee compliance. If you lose consciousness and end up in the emergency room, for example, the form may not go with you, in which case, many doctors prefer to step in.
At the university of Miami hospital Dr Kenneth Goodman’s long-term medical ethicists, explains: “many doctors said, ‘you can always be dead, don’t take an irreversible therapy, Dr Dr Holt when he saw the man’s tattoo is calling. It was his job, to find out the best way to act, and soon – this man seemed to be dying.
“Our biggest concern is, is it true? Remember holt. They can be found only in the medical literature example is a case in 2012, one of the chest tattoo man said “DNR” doctor told this is the result of a drunken bet, did not reflect his will.
“My idea is this,” goodman explains. “He went through the trouble of getting the tattoo, saying don’t do it to me, and he probably saw it very often from then on, and I thought I would see it every time I looked in the mirror.
In this way, tattoos may be more reflective of a man’s current aspirations than a form he may have signed and forgotten to update. “Even though he might have changed his mind, if we were holding a sheet of paper, we really should face the tattoo, even though he might have changed his mind,” goodman said.
Goodman advises doctors to take tattoos seriously. The man became more and more ill overnight. They didn’t do CPR. The man died. Finally, social workers found that the man had signed a hospital form with the Florida health department to support his tattoo.
In November, holt published a case study of patients in the New England journal of medicine, suggesting that it might be helpful to other doctors. Since then, he and goodman say they have heard a wide range of doctors and ethicists.
“It starts a good conversation,” says holt, about how to help people express their end wishes in an effective way. He and goodman both say tattoos are not the answer. Although tattoos eventually work in this context, “I don’t think it’s a useful thing,” holt said. “it does give us more pause than help.”
What really works is a simple way to get the official form from anywhere. Ideally, the EMT and ER documents can immediately know what an unconscious person wants to care for.
“It’s her record to imagine that a common patient preference will not be resuscitated,” goodman said. “Then why, it should be that you can call anywhere.” Some states are trying to implement a directive called POLST, which is used by older people or patients, by establishing an electronic registration authority.
The Oregon registry has increased the likelihood that people will get the care they want. Since 2016, California, has launched a pilot since the registry office, some doctors said, they see the patient less and less, they choose in their own with their own preferences – etching on the bracelet, most have no tattoos on their skin.