It’s absolutely appalling!

I’m angrier than a grown adult who lives in a state that does not honor his wishes.  I speak specifically of New York State’s Do Not Resuscitate law, a law which allows one to decline life-saving measures.  Things are so bad that a doctor needs to issue the order and then must review that order every 90 days.  However, when done properly, New York’s DNR laws make it possible for any adult to request one, even if they have to go through a big hassle every three months.

As the name implies, a DNR orders medical staff to stop rendering life-saving measures such as AED, CPR or any other measures.  Under the state’s laws, I have the right to request a DNR and then file it with local hospitals and ambulance providers.  Let’s be clear: just because I want a DNR, it does not mean that I’m suicidal, which I’m not.

I have no desire to end my life by way of suicide.  But my adult decision is that I want a DNR, so that any and all live-saving measures don’t take place at all, just in case saving my life as the result of serious injury or medical peril would mean possible brain damage or other outcomes that would reduce my quality of life.

On paper,  I qualify because I have a chronic heart condition, a heart valve disorder.  It barely meets the criteria, but it qualifies.

Unfortunately, in New York state, a doctor is not required to issue a DNR, making it more difficult for informed adults such as myself to get what they want.  Again, I’m not suicidal, but now I see why so many people commit suicide in New York.

I do wear a DNR necklace and a bracelet, in the hopes that the EMT, doctor, nurse or whomever else will see and honor my request without question.  What should happen is that the paramedics would see my bracelet before they even put me into the ambulance, call out a DNR, kill the lights and sirens and refrain from any medical attention whatsoever.

Hiring an attorney to handle the legalities would be the easiest solution, but unfortunately, I do not have funds at my disposal to keep a roof over my head and pay an attorney.  That being the case, I should be able to take charge of my own life and decide that in an emergency, but New York is making it difficult.

All I had to do to get a DNR necklace (and bracelet!) was purchase them from Amazon.  No legal or medical documentation was needed. And it’s legally binding, based on what I’ve read. If medical personnel don’t respect the DNR, I can, in theory, sue.  If they do respect it, they are absolved of any and all legal consequences.

My hope is that paramedics and hospital staff will notice and honor my wishes and just let me go.  All the hospitals in Albany have the same thing on their patient records: a self-written DNR, including CPR/AED and my refusal of blood transfusions.  I don’t want some jerk’s blood in my veins, so I simply refuse to accept one.  I hope they’ll honor it in the event that I can’t advocate for myself.

Here’s a for instance: suppose I have a heart episode at Mass.

When the paramedics arrive, they would normally try reviving me through a variety of methods.  Hopefully, they’ll first notice both my DNR necklace and bracelet and stop before they start.  That’s the whole idea.

If they ignore my wishes and revive me, I will be ever so pissed.  The priests all know my wishes and hopefully will advocate for me by showing the paramedics my necklace or bracelet.  Hopefully, my fellow Catholics who might be tempted to assist me will notice those things as well and will go back to their pews.

What’s scary in NY State is that the presumes that anyone rushed to a medical care facility is presumed to have given consent to be given life-saving measures.  If I get rushed to a hospital without my consent after, say, a car collision, everyone will assume that I want medical care.  That frightens me.

There is some religious stuff to consider here. As a Catholic, I must uphold Church values and standards.  The good news with that is that the Catholic Church does not have a hard policy against a DNR.  The Church, thankfully, teaches that it’s morally unacceptable to force a Catholic to accept medical care that is undesired.

I am a grown adult and I know full well what I’m asking for.  I am astute and am prepared for the consequences of my wishes.  I’m not expressing a desire to commit suicide, but I am saying that, as a grown adult, I should have the absolute right to tell medical personnel and others to just stop and walk away. Survival has to be a choice.  I don’t want anyone assisting me in any way, forcing survival on me.

Why am I making such a huge decision?  I have a seizure disorder, basically epilepsy.  I am on medication and haven’t had a seizure in ages, but if I do have one, it could cause severe brain damage and I will not go through the rest of my life with that impairment.  Thus, I have no choice but to have a DNR.

A DNR is a serious decision.  Hopefully, given that I have on my body signs that I do not wish to be revived, I will pass peacefully in the back of the ambulance.  Paramedics are used to DNR orders, so they will have no problem respecting my wishes.

Because if they decide to be heroes and save my life, I will sue them personally and the ambulance company as well, most likely Mohawk Ambulance, which is the largest privately owned ambulance company around here.  I have contacted them and am in the process of making them aware that I do have a DNR.

A DNR is made to be enforced.  Here’s hoping that mine is.