Ethics in Resuscitation

  • Antonio E. Muñiz
Part of the Contemporary Cardiology book series (CONCARD)


Seriously ill patients often face tragically difficult choices. Commonly, an advanced resuscitative intervention offers a chance of longer life, with a chance, too, of profound suffering. In a given day, all over the world, thousands undergo the procedure of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), whereas others are placed on a “do not attempt resuscitation” (DNAR) status. In the United States, it has been estimated that approx 100,000 lives may be saved with advanced resuscitation (1). The performance of CPR, however, may conflict with the patient’s own desires and may not be in his or her best interest, especially if suffering from a terminally ill condition. It has also been shown that up to 20% of individuals do not wish to be resuscitated (2,3). Decisions concerning CPR are complicated by the fact that often the decision to initiate CPR must be made within seconds by health care providers who generally have very little knowledge about the patient’s illness or of any existing advance directives.


Health Care Provider Cardiac Arrest Emergency Medical Service Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Advance Directive 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio E. Muñiz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineVirginia Commonwealth University Medical CenterRichmond
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsVirginia Commonwealth University Medical CenterRichmond

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