Sailing into Surgery
“Did you know that a DNR doesn’t apply if you go into surgery?” That provocative notion was told by Joel Dixon, who with his wife Hamet works as an Operating Room nurse at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. They were in Williamsburg for an afternoon sail on the York River with their daughter Joelliane.
“The DNR is put on hold in surgery because we have to take all deliberate steps with the patient. You might be in surgery for a broken wrist, which has nothing to do with the DNR.” That struck me as a good ethical point, because it precludes a surgeon from thinking: What the hell, he wanted to die anyway.
Hamet said, “Did you know there’s a DNI as well? It’s for Do Not Intibate.” Why? “Some people are very concerned about that.”
“Surgery is very, very stressful,” Joel added, and Hamet agreed. We sailed along in a rising wind that removed any stress. Hamet was eager to see birds, so we spotted a cormorant and a pelican in addition to the usual osprey.
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