In fact there are many problems with the system as it is
- The use of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders (also known as “no code” or “code zero”) often leads to problems. Studies have shown that:
- Medical staff often withhold other treatments besides CPR (such as dialysis, medications, tests, food and water, transfusions)
- People with disabilities are pressured to sign DNRs, or the orders are simply put on their charts without their knowledge or consent, or that of their families.
- Doctors sometimes give unclear or incorrect information about the medical outcome of signing or not signing a DNR.
- When a person asks that treatment be withheld or withdrawn, hospital protocols do not call for suicide prevention services, even though withholding treatment often leads to death.
- Doctors often wait too long to talk about end-of-life choices. When these conversations happen, the patient may be unconscious or otherwise unable to participate.
- Studies show that doctors sometimes make such decisions without the permission of the person or her family.
- The problems with informed consent that arise in assisted suicide are the same for withholding and withdrawal of treatment.