I'd love to get some feedback on a situation that happened recently during the night. We coded a patient twice within a few hours; by the time the second code started the family was all present including the husband. The next of kin approached the nurse and wanted the pt to be made DNR and the MD gave a telephone order for that. The pt had been on pressors prior to the code but was hypertensive afterwards d/t all the epi given. When the bp started dropping again the family requested to have the medication kept off, in other words they decided that they wanted only comfort measures. At this point, however, (about 5am) no one could get the intensivist on the phone after multiple pages/calls to the answering service.
So my question at this point is, does next of kin have the right to refuse medications in the same way that a pt can refuse medications, and does it make a difference that the pt would soon die without said medications?
Ethically speaking, in this situation I would want to honor the family's wishes (they were an intelligent, caring, lovely family) but do I have legal ground to stand on?