AG: Jail Staff Can Ignore Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders

Sauk County Attorneys Asked AG Schimel For A Legal Opinion On The Issue

A cell door in the Dane County Jail
Dane County Jail. Michelle Johnson/WPR

Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel says jail staff don’t have to follow inmates’ do-not-resuscitate orders.

Sauk County attorneys asked Schimel for a legal opinion on the question after an inmate arrived at the county jail in September 2017 wearing a do-not-resuscitate bracelet.

Schimel issued the opinion Thursday. He said that under state law only emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders, emergency room staff and urgent care clinic staff are required to abide by do-not-resuscitate orders. Such orders don’t bind jail workers unless they fall within those categories.

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Schimel noted that a state Department of Health Services administrative rule that requires first responders to follow do-not-resuscitate orders conflicts with statutes and is unenforceable.