Hello everyone. My name is Michel, and I’m a physician in Philadelphia. I read with great interest the previous discussion on Euthanasia, and it was a great discussion. This topic triggered another question in my head: What is our Coptic Church position (if any) on “DNR” status? If you are not familiar with the term, DNR means: “Do Not Resuscitate”. It is a legal term where a patient (or someone acting on his behalf, if he/she is incapacitated) orders his physician not to try to save his life if, for example, his heart stops or he can not breath, i.e. not to resuscitate him by CPR (chest compressions, mechanical ventilation, or shocks, etc). It is a wish (that is legally compelling) issued frequently by older patients in case of sickness (terminal or not), but frequently also by younger healthy ones. The person does not have to be diseased, and certainly does not necessarily have to have a terminal illness. It is accepted legally on the basis of human right to refuse treatment, especially if this treatment is invasive, sometimes even scary to some people, e.g. putting a breathing tube down his throat!
In many instances, the lack of this resuscitation leads to death.
Sometimes the sickness could have been treated by CPR (e.g a bad pneumonia, by intubation, or heart arrhythmia, by shocking). Other times, the prognosis appears to have been poor from the start.