A 1991 federal law, the Patient Self-Determination Act, requires that patients be informed about their right to participate in health care decisions, including their right to have an advance directive. Advance directives fall into two broad categories: instructive and proxy:
A Do-Not-Resuscitate Order (DNR) instructs medical personnel, including emergency medical technicians and paramedics, not to perform CPR or use any other “heroic measures” in the event their heart or breathing stops.
Advance directives are recognized in one form or another by legislative action in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. If the directive is constructed according to the outlines provided by pertinent state legislation it can be considered legally binding.
YMCAs should inform members that they will not recognize or accept DNR requests. In the event of a medical emergency, a YMCA should follow all its emergency procedures and protocols for all members, guests, and staff until the EMTs or Paramedics arrive. If the YMCA staff responding to an incident is aware of a DNR request, it should be presented to the EMT and Paramedic who should decide on whether to withhold further live saving measures.
Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at www.redwoodsgroup.com to learn more about YMCA risk management issues.