One hospital's experience with a "Do not resuscitate" policy.
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A "No not resuscitate" policy was instituted at McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton, in January 1979. Its objectives were to ensure that physicians decide on the appropriateness of resuscitation attempts before they might be needed; to have each physician consult his or her patients, or the families of incompetent patients, to determine their wishes concerning further treatment; and to provide legal protection of or physicians and the hospital in regard to the policy. To determine the effectiveness of the "Do not resuscitate" policy a questionnaire was sent to a sample of the professional staff of the hospital; the overall response rate was 87%. The respondents felt that a better way of informing hospital staff of the policy and its objectives was needed. However, the results of the questionnaire suggested that, on the whole, the policy was perceived as beneficial to both patients and physicians at the hospital.
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