Doctors Baffled By Unconscious Man With ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Tattoo

Photo: STEEX (Getty)

To save or not to save, that is the question.

Doctors at the Miami University Hospital were recently left stumped when an unconscious patient was brought into the hospital with a “Do Not Resuscitate” tattoo on his chest, forcing an ethical dilemma to fall on the doctors laps. The 70-year-old patient was taken by paramedics into the emergency room with a high blood-alcohol level and without any identification, so the docs couldn’t find a next of kin or any medical paperwork for him.

The only thing he had was the tattoo:

Photo: New England Journal of Medicine/University of Miami

The man’s pulse eventually started to slow down, which made the doctors treat the patient in case the tattoo was not a genuine statement of his wishes, although during that time an ethics consultation took place.


After consulting the ethics team the decision was made to honor the ‘do not resuscitate’ tattoo and the patient died during the night.

The authors of the journal’s case study, wrote: “We initially decided not to honor the tattoo, invoking the principle of not choosing an irreversible path when faced with uncertainty. This decision left us conflicted owing to the patient’s extraordinary effort to make his presumed advance directive known; therefore, an ethics consultation was requested.”

So as you can see, the docs at the hospital decided to let this dude just die and hopefully honor what he truly wanted. Then again, this dude probably just wanted to be a bad ass and get this tattoo and had no intention of dying. I guess we will never know.

In other words:

And then there’s this gal: This Dumb Model Actually Tattooed Her Cat And Now She’s Being Investigated