Most Oregonians who are sick and have registered their medical wishes with their doctor, don't want to be resuscitated -- according to a new study of in the 'Journal of the American Medical Association.'
The study looked at the 25,000 Oregonians who enrolled in the 'Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment' program in 2009. All were frail and very sick, with problems like a cancer that had spread, or advanced lung disease.
Dr. Susan Tolle of Oregon Health & Science University found that more than 70 percent did not want to be resuscitated. That she says, was not the surprise.
"But I was surprised how completely unable to predict, if you marked 'do not resuscitate' whether or not somebody wanted to go back to the hospital. And you could not tell unless you asked them," Tolle said.
So for example, two elderly men who use walkers and are stooped from bone loss might make very different choices.
One might not want to be hospitalized because he's been treated many times. He might prefer to remain with his family.
The other might want relatively minor issues treated -- but would not want to be put on a breathing machine.
So the research shows you can’t predict what kind of care each person might want.