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Letters: Put your CPR wishes in writing

March 15, 2013

Re "When CPR isn't the right medicine," Opinion, March 13

I agree with Kevin M. Dirksen and Neil S. Wenger about the need for a patient to discuss whether life-saving procedures should be performed if his or her heart stops. These discussions need to be followed quickly by signing the necessary legal statements.

As a registered nurse, I have seen the results when no guidance is available. I have also seen unwanted CPR performed when the information in a "do not resuscitate" form wasn't passed on properly. After the traumatic resuscitation, these patients were intubated, attached to a breathing machine and had numerous IV lines placed into their bodies. If they were conscious enough to pull at the tube in their throat or the IV lines, they had their arms restrained.

I encourage all families with members who are likely to need protection from unwanted CPR to discuss the issue, obtain the correct documents and make multiple copies that are easily accessible.

Linda L. Mann

Los Angeles

I am 85 years old, and I find it extremely scary that some people think it is not worth it to perform CPR on someone my age because the chance that we would have any quality years after the procedure would be low. No one knows what may be in store for another person after recovery.

When she was 89, my mother fell off a stepladder and broke her hip and thigh bone. The doctor called me from Florida and said they were reluctant to operate due to her age. I insisted they do so.

My mother lived six more happy years in her own home, enjoying the company of friends and family. It was a great loss to everyone when she died at 95.

Lorraine Knopf

Santa Monica

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