Dad said "full resuscitation" but nursing home asking about a DNR. Anyone else stuck in this dilemma?

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I am my dad's health care proxy--he's 92, with Parkinson's, depression, incontinence, dementia, and Alzheimer's, and currently in a nursing home; my 88 year old stepmom lives nearby, while I am in Michigan, about 1000 miles away. A few years back--while he was still living at the house, although perhaps when the dementia had begun to manifest--my brother had asked him about a DNR. At the time, he indicated he didn't want that. A couple of days ago, there was an incident at the nursing home and they wound up doing chest compressions (since there was no DNR). He's recovered, but I was asked about whether I wanted to instate a DNR. I know the damage that can come from CPR, and have heard plenty of stories about unnecessarily prolonging life (my partner's a nurse). My stepmom, I believe, has a DNR. I understand my dad's wishes, but am also aware of the decline in his quality of life that resulted from the move to the nursing home, and I can't imagine he understands the reality of being hooked up to tubes, etc. My brother says he would support a DNR (but of course he's the one who spoke to Dad initially). Anyone else stuck in this dilemma?

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@RobinR: My stepmother apparently talked to Dad about this a few years ago, and my brother spoke with him about a year (while he was signing an updated will and power-of-attorney). Not sure he knows anyone who's been living on tubes (for example), and I didn't have the live conversation. I will be following up with my dad's PCP.
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An indication several years ago that your father didn't fancy the idea of no one being bothered if he died or not... that doesn't sound to me like informed consent to full-on resuscitation.

So here you are now, facing one of the most difficult responsibilities of the Good Healthcare Proxy. I'm sorry for it.

You could go ahead and implement the DNR, and no one would criticise you, and you already know you have your brother's support. Your father hasn't, in fact, given you any clear directions: there aren't any formal instructions from him for you to follow, and you didn't have the discussion with him yourself.

If you're still uncomfortable - which would be to your credit, and show a proper conscientiousness about a genuine ethical dilemma - then I suggest you talk the issue through with your father's primary physician and look on this as a clinical decision. I'd guess that the medical advice would be that to attempt resuscitation on a patient in your father's condition would be verging on unethical in itself; but it would be best to settle any doubts you have by relying on a professional opinion from your father's own practitioner.
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Adam, they are anticipating the need to do CPR again and again. So how many times do you want to put him through this? I would agree to the DNR to avoid injury scenarios.
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Seems like the issue is when your dad was not impacted by his dementia/Alzheimer's what were his thoughts and feelings. Did he share anything with your or others...did he comment on news stories, about friends? Anything that would hint to you how he WOULD feel about all of this? It sounds if I read correctly that he does want a full resuscitation effort. Is he able to comprehend someone explaining what this means, to be sure? You might want to check out an organization called Curadux. I have been impressed with their website and the person who started it is someone I think well of; he was the chief of anesthesiology at Cleveland Clinic and has been critically ill himself...he understand the impact on the patients and family members. PS, you also have to wonder if the facility has the staff to take care of an emergency...of if they are pushing your decision to make it better for their own issues...
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When your dad first specified DNR, he was feeling full of life. He brain was not full of holes and fear as it is now. If he were in a place where he could recover to his former self, I would be the first to honor his wishes to stay here. But things have changed.

If he were in his right mind looking in, would he want to remain in this state forever, being another responsibility on the list for his family, or would he want his family to go and live to the fullest without worrying about him? Would he want to be trapped in fear, not knowing who anyone is or if they are friend or foe?

I have told my children to keep me alive if there is hope of recovering from an illness or accident. But if dementia has been diagnosed, I want them to feed me yummy fatty foods so I can have a heart attack and go before I get to the point where I am afraid of everything in life. What a horrible way to live.
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When I was looking at my Living Will, I was wondering about the DNR.   It got me thinking if I was the patient and for some reason my heart had stopped, I would want the doctors to try to get it going again.  I could live many more years especially if my medical issues were minor.

Now if I was in a condition where the quality of my own life was way down on the scale, then forget about it, let me go.   I wouldn't want any thing more than limited CPR... thus, don't keep trying.   I will need to talk this over with my Elder Law Attorney.

When my Dad was in Assisted Living/Memory Care, the facility asked for signed legal documents that my Dad might have.   Such as a Living Will and a DNR.   When Dad was put on Hospice Care, then that DNR became important.   Thank goodness the doctor/nurse never needed to use CPR as Dad passed peacefully in his sleep.

It does bring up an interesting question.
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