New York’s Do-Not-Resuscitate Law: Burden or Benefit?
In 1987, New York State became the first jurisdiction to enact legislation governing the withholding of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Other states are watching New York’s initiative to see if it will serve as a model for them to follow. In view of the far-reaching consequences of codifying the process of medical decisionmaking in statutory law, a debate has emerged about both the need for legislative intervention and its effectiveness. To address these questions, we will first review the confluence of events that lead to the drafting of the law. It will then be possible to understand how circumstances unique to New York State may have engendered practices that depart from the usual methods of making medical decisions.
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