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Maybe a Tattoo Isn’t the Right Place for a Directive

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jan 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Doctors pondered the legal strength of a "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo.

Doctors had to figure out whether to follow the directions of a “Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo, according to CNN in "A man's tattoo left doctors debating whether to save his life."

An unconscious 70-year-old man was brought into a hospital. He had a high blood alcohol level and a tattoo that read "Do Not Resuscitate."

The doctors determined at first that they should ignore the tattoo and try to save the man's life.

Then they discussed the matter with an ethics consultant and reached the opposite conclusion.

The man's written do not resuscitate directive was later found and the problem was cleared up. The man passed away.

This is an interesting case for medical ethicists.

It is also interesting in the sense that doctors will follow the advanced directives of their patients.

An estate planning attorney may be the best place to get a directive, rather than a tattoo parlor.

Reference: CNN (Dec. 12, 2017) "A man's tattoo left doctors debating whether to save his life."

About the Author

Nina Whitehurst

Attorney at Law Nina has been practicing law for over 30 years in the areas of estate planning, real estate and business law She is currently licensed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Tennessee. Her Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating is the highest achievable: 5 stars in peer...


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