by: Alex Smith
Perhaps you have said, or heard someone declare, “I want DNR tattooed across my chest!”
Well, someone actually had it done. See this image in JGIM of the tattoo and the unusual story behind it. In this case, the DNR tattoo was the result of a lost bet in a drinking game – bad idea jeans – the patient actually wanted to be full code!
This could be used a teaching image about respecting individuals’ rights to avoid resuscitation. The idea is to provoke a thoughtful discussion. Questions for trainees could include:
- What is behind the idea of the DNR tattoo? Why would someone say that, or do it?
- Imagine you are seeing a new patient who arrests in front of you. Preparing to do CPR you see a DNR tattoo on the chest. How do you respond? Why? Should DNR tattoos be respected?
- What can we do to protect the interests of people who really do not want to be resuscitated?
- Should we as a society put greater ironclad protections in place for people to irrevocably fix their code status at DNR? What are the risks? What if someone codes from anaphylaxis? Chokes on some food in front of you?
- What do you think about allowing leeway or flexibility in decision making? In all cases? Giving the surrogate leeway? The clinician? Do the advance directive forms or POLSTs you use allow for leeway? Should they?
- What do you think about Ulysses contracts? (Then Ulysses said, “Eurylochus, come quickly! Tie me to the mast, for I shall hear the Sirens song and live!”). Caringadvocates offers such documents (run by frequent GeriPal commenter Stan Turman). Example: do not give me food or water when I have advanced dementia, no matter what I say or do.
Feel free to share your teaching experiences in the comments. I think the geriatrics and palliative care communities really appreciated the discussion about how to use this video from a previous post as a teaching tool.
Complete Article HERE!
Care homes often deny elderly people the basic right, and one of their few remaining pleasures, to continue having sex, according to a new study.
Many older people, including those with early stage dementia, enjoy sex while they live at home, but this changes once they move into residential care, said the Australian authors of a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
They blame a lack of privacy, age discrimination and fears about the legal implications should a patient be found mentally incompetent to give consent.
“The formation of relationships, physical intimacy and the expression of sexuality are a basic human right and a normal and healthy part of ageing,” wrote the authors from the Australian Centre for Evidence-Based Aged Care.
Yet most facilities do not have formal policy guidelines or staff training aimed at allowing residents to continue being sexually active.
“Privacy remains a problem, with residents often not able to lock their doors and most rooms equipped only with single beds,” said the paper.
“For residents with dementia, sexuality is viewed with even greater anxiety, either being labelled ‘inappropriate’ or a ‘challenging’ behaviour or as a risk to the resident.”
The team acknowledged the difficulties in determining the legal threshold for informed consent in elderly patients with dementia, but argued this should not be an excuse for denying them their rights.
“It is important to remember that dementia is defined in stages, with early or mild dementia manifesting as mild forgetfulness or confusion that is often mistaken for a normal part of ageing,” they wrote.
“Clearly there is a significant difference between the capabilities of a person with mild dementia and one with advanced or final-stage dementia and, therefore, a single approach to sexuality and ‘people with dementia’ is inappropriate.”
Complete Article HERE!