Intended for healthcare professionals


Second thoughts

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 22 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1552
  1. M W H Behan, specialist registrar in cardiology,
  2. R Veasey, specialist registrar in cardiology,
  3. M Higson, senior cardiac technician,
  4. A N Sulke, consultant cardiologist
  1. Eastbourne District General Hospital, Eastbourne

    Until recently, this 75 year old widower, who lived alone in an isolated rural environment, was very depressed after his bereavement and having had angina diagnosed. He was terrified of the possibility of cerebral anoxic brain damage that might follow a prolonged cardiac arrest (a particular risk because of his isolated location). In order to prevent this, he had “Do not resuscitate” tattooed on his chest.

    Happily, he has now had successful treatment of his angina and found a new partner, and would now like to be resuscitated. It does, however, leave him with a problem of what to do with his tattoo.

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