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THE BULL AND THE BIZARRE
Do I Get a Senior Citizen Discount?
Tattoo for an 80 year old woman raises legal questions.

by Richard 'Mr. Moo' Moore
May 28, 2006

Mary Wohlford is your typical 80 years old. Except for the fact that she just got her first tattoo. Mary's tattoo has a special message. No, it's not a butterfly or an angel. It's those three little words that can mean the difference between living and dying. No, it's not "I Love You". Those three little words are "Do Not Resuscitate."
 
Mary has a living will and she has made it very clear to her family and doctor that if she becomes incapacitated, she doesn't want heroic means taken. So in order to cover all possibilities, Mary had "Do Not Resuscitate" tattooed across her chest.
 
Mary decided to do this to make her medical wishes perfectly clear. "People may think I'm crazy, but that's OK." She claims that twenty years ago, no one had practice making a living will. "You have to advance with the times," she told a reporter.
 
Advancing with the times is fine if everyone will agree to the advancement. Physicians and attorneys have said they aren't sure they would recognize a tattoo with the absence of the next of kin or a living will present in their file. Even though Mary has the living will, if it isn't in the file of the hospital treating her, there could be a problem. You see, Iowa has specific procedures that need to be followed. And a tattoo that says DNR is not on the list.
 
I hope Iowa physicians and attorneys won't make her tattoo the entire living will document to her body. Next thing you know she'll be out shopping for a Harley.


About the Author:
Mr. Moo's hide is tattoo free but he gives Mary credit for thinking outside the box.


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