Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is universally applied in cardiac standstill, unless a physician order is given to Do Not Resuscitate (DNR). CPR is the only procedure that can be performed without a physician order; a nurse cannot give aspirin, start an IV or feed a patient without an order. However, CPR is the automatic default when the heart stops. This universal application has created several ethical issues, and the current pandemic now has us questioning if CPR should be the automatic default.

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