Do Not Resuscitate

In 1999, the State of Ohio enacted statewide protocol for persons wishing to exercise the right to die, referred to as the Comfort Care Program. A person designated as a Do Not Resuscitate - Comfort Care patient, in consultation with a physician or advanced practice nurse who writes the DNR order, may elect implementation of the standard DNR protocol based upon one of two events:

(1) Upon a cardiac arrest or a respiratory arrest, the person receives comfort care only. Until an arrest, responders may provide any and all treatments appropriate for the patient, to include components of CPR. Once an arrest occurs, responders withdraw all resuscitative efforts and provide comfort care; or,

(2) Upon identification of the person as a DNR comfort care patient, comfort care is initiated. Patients with a valid DNR Comfort Care Program form:

• Suction the airway
• Administer oxygen
• Position for comfort
• Splint or immobilize
• Control bleeding
• Provide pain medication
• Provide emotional support
• Contact other appropriate health care providers such as hospice, home health, attending physician/CNP/CNS

• Administer chest compressions
• Insert artificial airway
• Administer resuscitative drugs
• Defibrillate or cardiovert
• Provide respiratory assistance (other than that listed above)
• Initiate resuscitative IV
• Initiate cardiac monitoring


More information can be found on the State of Ohio, Department of Health website: