State Health Department Reverses Do-Not-Resuscitate Guidelines

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms was ready to pen a commentary denouncing a new set of DNR (do not resuscitate) guidelines recently put forth by the New York State Health Department, but we received a pleasant surprise: The guidelines were withdrawn almost immediately.

On April 21, 2020, the New York Post broke a story about new state guidelines for first responders who found persons in states of cardiac arrest. According to the Post, first responders were advised not to attempt to revive such persons. Apparently, the guidelines were a disturbing attempt to focus emergency medical care on the coronavirus epidemic. First responders reacted with anger to the guidelines.

The very next day, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker rescinded the new guidelines. According to the Health Department, the guidelines met nationally recognized minimum standards; however, “‘they don’t reflect New York’s standards and for that reason DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has ordered them to be rescinded.’”

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms thanks Commissioner Zucker for taking prompt action to resolve a serious problem. His action demonstrates respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life. However, it is troubling that these guidelines ever saw the light of day in the first place.