A Review of the Empirical Studies of the DNR Law and a Rejoinder to Tracy Miller

  • Robert Baker
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 48)


Tracy E. Miller, Executive Director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, charges that “studies of actual [clinical] practice presented in this volume… show that [the Union College Study] rest[s] on false factual assumptions” [12, p. 325]. These charges, and those she levels against the implications we draw from similar findings made independently by Dr. Norton Spritz [18], are serious, but they arise from fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of clinical phenomena and of the findings of the five empirical studies of the DNR law. In this chapter I will show that Miller’s readings of the empirical studies are incorrect, that her charges are therefore unfounded, and that her misreading of the empirical studies obscures the extent to which the DNR law successfully empowered patients.


Critical Care Unit Critical Care Physician Surrogate Consent Adult Critical Care Unit Genesee Hospital 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Baker

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