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J Emerg Med. 2007 Oct;33(3):299-305. Epub 2007 Jul 20.

Does a living will equal a DNR? Are living wills compromising patient safety?

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Hamot Medical Center, Erie, Pennsylvania 16550, USA.


Living wills are thought to protect the medical decision-making capacity of patients. Presented are three case scenarios of patients with living wills presenting to health care facilities for treatment, and their hospital courses. Living wills have never been thought to compromise patient care or safety, but their use has not been adequately studied with respect to risks, benefits, or consequences. This case series will define a scenario as well as how that scenario was affected by the presence of a living will. In addition, existing data regarding the care provided to patients with a code status designation of DNR (do not resuscitate) are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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