More Dutch refuse resuscitation

In The Netherlands, there is an explosive growth in people who do not want to be resuscitated if they are in acute distress, the NOS reports. The number of people currently wearing a medal with the words 'Do Not Resuscitate' on them rose from 1200 in 2007 to more than 5000 last year. In total, 20,000 people now wear the medal from the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End Of Life (NVVE). 

Petra de Jong from the NVVE told the Radio 1 Journaal that these people have decided for themselves that they want a natural death, and not risk ending up a 'greenhouse plant' when resuscitated.

Although the chance of ending up in a vegetative state is small, De Jong says. The chance that you survive a resuscitation is 10 to 20 percent. Resuscitated individuals may be left unable to do almost anything, but the chance of this happening is only one percent.

Still, more Dutch opt for the 'Do Not Resuscitate' or 'Allow Natural Death' medal, which obliges emergency workers not to resuscitate the wearer by law. In some cases, especially in hospitals, the patient has been resuscitated while the patient did not want this.

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