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Montana seniors discuss 'Do Not Resuscitate' order procedures

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Mar 05 2013 06:44:01 PM MST
Updated On: Mar 05 2013 07:06:52 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Police in California are investigating whether there was any criminal wrongdoing after a nurse at an independent living facility refused to give CPR to an 87-year-old woman who later died.

We wanted to know if something like this could happen at a similar facility here in Bozeman.

NBC Montana called six different Bozeman facilities who spoke about their policy for addressing emergency situations. Five of them told us on the phone they do have non-resuscitation policies and follow them.

We learned the decision not to be resuscitated can be a tough one for the elderly.

"It's a personal option. It's whatever you want," said Tony Marchi.

The decision to not resuscitate is something Marchi is familiar with. He is the executive director at Home Instead Senior Care in Bozeman. Marchi said he wants his patients to live, but respects their decision when it comes to DNR orders.

"If you decide you don't want to be resuscitated, you have every reason to do that," said Marchi.

We wanted to know more and went over to the senior center in Bozeman, to speak with folks who are faced with making these type of decisions.

Linda Stevens explained to us that many members of her family were living in senior assisted care facilities for years. Stevens says she made sure her family knew what they were signing before her loved ones were checked in.

"I think they should sign 'Yes, I read this, yes, I understand that,'" said Stevens.

Bob Kern is also a senior and disagrees about the Do Not Resuscitate orders unless it's in writing. Kern said people should always make every effort to save a person's life.

"We all try to do the best we can in case of an emergency. I don't care if you're licensed or not. You do your best to help," said Kern.

Other seniors we spoke to said if a nurse cannot find their form during the time of the emergency, health officials at the homes should resuscitate.