Article Text

Download PDFPDF
“Allow natural death” versus “do not resuscitate”: three words that can change a life
  1. S S Venneman1,
  2. P Narnor-Harris2,
  3. M Perish3,
  4. M Hamilton4
  1. 1
    University of Houston-Victoria, Departments of Psychology & Biology, Victoria, Texas, USA
  2. 2
    DeTar Hospital, Victoria, Texas, USA
  3. 3
    University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria, Texas, USA
  4. 4
    Victoria College, Victoria, Texas, USA
  1. Dr S Venneman, Departments of Psychology & Biology, University of Houston-Victoria, 3007 N. Ben Wilson, Victoria, Texas 77901, USA; vennemans{at}


Physician-written “do not resuscitate” DNR orders elicit negative reactions from stakeholders that may decrease appropriate end-of-life care. The semantic significance of the phrase has led to a proposed replacement of DNR with “allow natural death” (AND). Prior to this investigation, no scientific papers address the impact of such a change. Our results support this proposition due to increased likelihood of endorsement with the term AND.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None declared.

Other content recommended for you