A healthy man who fears coming back “as a vegetable” if revived from a grave injury or illness has ‘do not resuscitate’ tattooed on his chest.
Nigel Thwaites spent £50 ($63) to have his chest tattooed with the message after seeing the poor health condition of his father and after participating in a defibrillator course at his insurance firm.
Watch why he decided to get this tattoo in the video below.
Video credit: Rumble
After taking part in the course, the 52-year-old started believing that his life quality would be extremely bad if he were to be resuscitated following a cardiac arrest or heart attack.
So he decided to have a DNR tattoo on his chest. He also has a tattoo on his right arm which describes his blood type to help medics in case of organ donation.
“I don’t want to run the risk of not having a quality of life,” said the man from Attleborough, Norfolk. “I’ve made a living will and I think the tattoo is one of those things that you hope you never have to use.
“I spent quite a few months contemplating the tattoo and about seven years ago I went to a tattoo shop that had just opened up at the time.
“The tattoo artist was a little taken aback because I don’t think he’d had a request like that before.”
Nigel says he won’t be having any more tattoos. “I didn’t enjoy the pain,” he said. “The arm was alright but the sternum hurt like h*ll so I’m not in a rush to hurry back.
“I’m an organ donor and so that’s why I had my blood group tattooed on my shoulder.
“I paid for the tattoos which everyone told me was expensive but I wouldn’t know – I thought it was alright.”
Speaking of how he came up with the idea of the tattoo, he said: “A number of years ago at work there was a defibrillator course and we all learnt CPR.
“Anyway they showed us this short video of someone incorrectly applying CPR.
“A lot of people don’t know how to do CPR correctly and what happens is that the brain becomes starved of oxygen which causes a loss of faculties in that person.
“So my decision was that I don’t want to come back as a vegetable and I decided I don’t want to be resuscitated. It’s not just about the quality of life, sometimes it’s about the quality of someone’s death too.”
Nigel’s decision of having DNR tattooed on his chest was impacted by his father’s deteriorating health.
He continued: “My father had Parkinson’s, a motor neuron disease and while it’s not genetic, almost every generation on my father’s side had it.
“I don’t want to put my family through it.
“I want to take away the conflict from my loved ones and I don’t want them wondering what to do if I ever was left in a vegetative state unable to look after myself.”
Even though the illness of his father played a big role in his decision, Nigel says the original idea sprang up in his mind quite a time before.
“I was partially spurred by my father’s ill health but that’s not the whole story,” he said.
“My thought process started a long time ago after hearing a radio four program called ‘We need to talk about death.’
“It’s a controversial topic because no-one likes to face their own mortality, but the reality is that we’re probably going to live a lot longer than our bodies are designed to and so it’s more than likely that we’ll end up in care homes.
“However, people as a society don’t necessarily look after the older side of society as well as we perhaps should do and I want to try and avoid that is possible.”
Highlighting the importance of his decision, he said: “A DNR is something that has to be a considered decision.
“In society there’s a social taboo when it comes to talking about death. People don’t talk about it and so don’t understand it and they forget about the bit where you’re going to suffer at the end.
“You should be able to choose how you die – where’s the benefit in suffering?”
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