Awareness of do-not-resuscitate orders in the outpatient setting in Saudi Arabia. Perception and implications

Saudi Med J. 2017 Mar;38(3):297-301. doi: 10.15537/smj.2017.3.18063.


To determine the level of awareness of outpatients, their preferences regarding the appropriate time for discussions regarding do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional, self-administered survey was conducted at King Fahd Medical City, a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between December 2012 and January 2013. Demographic parameters of the participants were analyzed by frequency distribution, and the data on their responses by percentage analysis. Results: The survey participants constituted 307 randomly selected outpatients/caregivers presenting for outpatient care at primary and tertiary care centers, 70% were female. Three-fourths of the participants had heard of DNR order, of which 50% defined it accurately. Ninety percent preferred a discussion while ill, and 10% while healthy. More than 70% expressed willingness to share the decision with their spouses/family members. Almost one-third believed DNR orders were consistent with Islamic beliefs, almost as many believed they were inconsistent, and almost a third did not take either position. Almost all the participants showed a willingness to learn more about the order. Conclusion: A divided opinion exists regarding religious and ethical aspects of the issue among the participants. However, almost all the participants showed a willingness to learn more about the DNR order.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Awareness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Islam*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients*
  • Resuscitation Orders*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult