A man with the words “do not resuscitate” tattooed on his chest (shown here with the accompanying signature obscured) died this year at a hospital in Miami. The tattoo ultimately “produced more confusion than clarity,” doctors said. —The New England Journal of Medicine via The New York Times A man in Miami took extra care to make sure his end-of-life medical treatment went according to his wishes: He had the words “do not resuscitate” tattooed on his chest. The black, bold capital letters were in plain sight on his collarbone. The word “not” was underlined, for good measure. And the man’s own signature was reproduced beneath the demand. It worked, in a way. The man, 70, had a history of lung disease, heart problems and diabetes when he was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital this year. He was unconscious and did not have any identification. His blood alcohol level was high. According to a letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, doctors administered some treatment, but the man never became responsive enough to speak. And while the message of the tattoo was clear, doctors had no way of knowing whether getting it had been an impulsive decision. So they consulted an ethics expert, Kenneth W. Goodman, who advised them to honor the man’s apparent wishes. The doctors stopped short of administering the most invasive forms of lifesaving treatment, and the man’s health deteriorated until he died. Goodman, director of the Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, decided at the time that the tattoo seemed very deliberate. “Here’s a guy who went through the trouble of getting a tattoo, which has the word ‘not’ underscored; he had his tattoo artist include his signature,” Goodman said in a phone interview Sunday. “You don’t go through that trouble, look at it every day in the mirror and actually not mean it.” Nancy Berlinger, a health care ethics expert and research scholar at the Hastings Center, said the doctors did well to consult an expert and honor the patient’s wishes. She added that there is a growing movement to improve the way doctors and patients communicate about end-of-life