DNR Order: Court Declines to Hear Hospital’s Appeal of Restraining Order

April 1, 2011 | Health System Risk Management


​In a case of first impression, a New Jersey appeals court declined to consider a hospital's appeal from a lower court order that the hospital remove a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order from a patient's chart and resume providing dialysis care.

The patient, who had undergone surgery to remove a tumor, was left in a persistent vegetative state after a tube supplying oxygen became dislodged while he was in the hospital's intensive care unit. The patient sustained brain damage, required continuous ventilation and tube feeding, and developed decubitus ulcers resulting in osteomyelitis. Attempts to rehabilitate the patient at other facilities failed; he was readmitted to the hospital in renal failure. When the patient's family and various attending physicians could not agree on a continuing care plan, members of the hospital's prognosis committee debated the clinical and ethical issues and chose a physician to attempt to mediate the dispute. The family refused to permit a DNR order, after which the hospital made...

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