Mr. Joseph is a 75-year-old patient with chronic obstructive disease. He was in the hospital because of an upper respiratory tract infection. He and his wife had requested that CPR not be performed should he require it. A DNR order was written in the charts. In his room on the third floor he was being maintained with antibiotics, fluids, and oxygen and seemed to be doing better. His oxygen was inadvertently turned up, and this caused him to go into respiratory failure. When found by the therapist, he was in terrible distress and lay gasping in his bed.
1. Should Mr. Joseph be transferred to the intensive care unit where his respiratory failure can be treated by a ventilator and his oxygen level monitored?
2. Whatever your answer, provide an ethical rationale.
3. Does a patient with a written DNR belong in an intensive care unit?
Post your responses to justify your answers above.
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