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Of course, "do not resuscitate" across the chest is pretty clear of your intentions when you get it. But I don't think you realize how hard it can be to have that power over someone's life and make that call. I think the point about old tattoos is much more relevant than a band named that; if there are former neo-nazis with ultra racist/symbolic tattoos that regret them, there could be people that just got a "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo because they thought it was hardcore when they were younger but now regret it. I know this isn't always the case but when you're deciding whether or not to give someone another shot at life, or to let them die, a RECENT bracelet would be more definitive with all the thoughts racing through your head.

Also, if getting a tattoo is less annoying than wearing a bracelet you probably have some of them already and it can become even less clear.

getting a tattoo isn't less annoying than a bracelet, but having a tattoo is much less annoying.

In any case - where is the rash of young people with 'do not rescusitate' tattoos? Everyone I've seen that is supposed to have had one is a greyhair, well out of the young-and-dumb age. And even if you do 'later regret' the tatt and don't want to stump for tatt removal, just tatt a couple of lines through it or tatt something over it.

And then there's the young people who genuinely do not want to be rescusitated - what about them? Stigma enough carrying a medical bracelet amongst the young to begin with. I just don't see this supposed grey area of young people tattooing themselves with a mythical band name.

EDIT: To put it another way, this mythical youth tattooing himself errantly is such a vanishingly tiny fringe minority. Plenty of laws exist allowing for people to freely express themselves to death. The more stringent US states have a maximum blood alcohol content of .08 for drivers, which is higher than the level at which measurable cognitive effects occur on your co-ordination and attention. If we're really concerned about 'free expression' deaths, bring that number right down. There are tons of laws like it. There is no reason not to make it another social norm to say "tattoo 'do not resus' on your chest, and you won't be resuscitated". There's no need to pander to base idiots.

I would prefer we avoid shooting the messengers. Even if there's an argument that EMTs should honor indelible express wishes, we can't have this debate with all of them simultaneously. We are being informed that many of the ones out there today will not, which never would have occurred to me, and knowing that has some value.

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