After First Responders Don't Comply, New York Rescinds Disturbing 'Do Not Resuscitate' Order


There is good news coming out of New York as state officials walked back an all-encompassing “do-not-resuscitate” order on Wednesday after emergency workers refused to comply.

While existing guidelines advised first responders to spend 20 minutes attempting to revive victims with no pulse, the New York Post reported on Tuesday that a state Health Department memo was reversing that guidance, telling responders not to attempt to revive victims at all.

The change is “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposure, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives,” the memo read.

“Now you don’t get 20 minutes of CPR if you have no rhythm,” a Fire Department of New York emergency medical services worker told the Post. “They simply let you die.”

The state health department acknowledged the memo on Wednesday and announced it was being rescinded.

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“This guidance, proposed by physician leaders of the EMS Regional Medical Control Systems and the State Advisory Council — in accordance with American Heart Association guidance and based on standards recommended by the American College of Emergency Physicians and adopted in multiple other states — was issued April 17, 2020 at the recommendation of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, and reflected ‎nationally recognized minimum standards,” department spokeswoman Jill Montag told Fox News in a statement.

“However, they don’t reflect New York’s standards and for that reason DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has ordered them to be rescinded,” she added.

When the story about the DNR guidance first broke, many were unhappy with the new order, including city firefighters.

“They’re not giving people a second chance to live anymore,’’ Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY Local 2507, told the Post.

“Our job is to bring patients back to life. This guideline takes that away from us,” he said.

With the order rescinded, the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s Catholic bishops, expressed support for the first responders’ decision to ignore the order.

“Clearly the state’s first responders were deeply uncomfortable with this new guidance, and rightly so,” the organization tweeted. “We’re grateful the Health Department quickly rescinded this ill-advised order.”

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The fact that the order was implemented in the first place directly conflicts with what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed when he imposed drastic social distancing measures in the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order issued on March 20.

“When we look back at this situation ten years from now, I want to be able to say to the people of New York I did everything we could do,” Cuomo said.

“This is about saving lives, and if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

On April 2, the Post reported that ambulances had been instructed in a letter from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York, which controls the city’s ambulance operations, not to take cardiac arrest victims to the strained New York hospitals if attempts to revive patients at the scene failed.

Do you think decisions on treating COVID-19 victims should be left to medical personnel instead of bureaucrats?

During the coronavirus pandemic, emergency resources are no doubt stretched thin. However, advising the heroes who put their lives on the line every day for others to simply leave a patient who needs help goes against everything for which they stand.

It is indeed a slippery slope when bureaucrats, rather than medical personnel on the scene, make blanket decisions about who should not be saved.

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Christine earned her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University, where she studied communications and Latin. She left her career in the insurance industry to become a freelance writer and stay-at-home mother.
Christine earned her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University, where she studied communications and Latin. She left her career in the insurance industry to become a freelance writer and stay-at-home mother.