In 1995, Wisconsin Act 200 created new language in Chapter 154 of the State Statutes establishing a system for issuance of Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders and DNR bracelets in certain circumstances. The act is summarized below.
DNR orders are written orders issued by physicians to direct emergency medical technicians, first responders, and emergency health care facilities personnel not to attempt CPR on a person for whom the order is issued if that person suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest. A person with a valid DNR order is identified by a standardized DNR bracelet. The bracelet is a specific State of Wisconsin Division of Health plastic bracelet.
The Act 200 DNR order can be issued only if:
The patient is a qualified patient.
The patient requests the order.
The order is in writing and is signed by a physician.
The physician does not know the patient to be pregnant.
*Only an attending physician may issue a DNR order under Act 200.
*Act 200 does not control DNR orders for hospital or other inpatient and outpatient settings.
*A qualified patient is someone who is age 18 or older and who has a terminal condition or a medical condition such that, were the patient to suffer cardiac or pulmonary failure, resuscitation would be unsuccessful, cause significant harm or pain or would be successful only temporarily.
*Comfort care will be given, but no life sustaining cardiac or pulmonary care will be provided.
*The patient can revoke the DNR order by expressing to the emergency health personnel the desire to be resuscitated or by defacing, cutting, removing, or asking someone to remove the bracelet. The attending physician should be notified as soon as possible of the revocation; the revocation should be recorded in the patient’s medical record.
*Patient family members' or friends’ wishes do not supersede the wishes of the patient with a valid DNR bracelet.