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Posted on April 17, 2019 at 4:30 AM

Brian Elzweig has just published “Do Not Resuscitate Tattoos: Adequate Evidence of a Patient’s Intent to Die?” in the Oregon Law Review.

“As DNR tattoos gain popularity, medical providers are increasingly forced to determine their patients’ most vital, life-determining intentions without clear guidance from their patients or from the law. When presented with a tattoo that signifies medical wishes, doctors and other medical staff must try to best determine whether the tattoo represents a patient’s true desire to make an irreversible medical decision.”

“Can a tattoo adequately indicate a patient’s current intent to die? This Article will discuss the history of medical tattoos, the emergence of end-of-life intention tattoos (including DNR tattoos), and the impact of DNR tattoos on medical providers and hospital ethics committees. Finally, this Article provides suggestions for the use of tattoos as a proxy for valid statutory DNR orders.”

I. The History of Medical Tattoos
II. Tattoos Expressing End-of-Life Decisions 
III. Choosing Treatment Using the Path of Least Permanence When Facing Uncertainty 
IV. The Role of Hospital Ethics Committees 
V. Tattoos as Proxies for Medical Care Orders 
A. Proxies Currently Used for Medical Orders 
B. Should States Allow the Use of Tattoos as a Proxy for DNR Orders? 
C. DNR Tattoos Can Clarify the Uncertainty of Medical Providers 
VI. Suggestions for the Use of Tattoos as a Proxy 

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