Elder Law


What You Need to Know About Do Not Resuscitate Orders

What You Need to Know About Do Not Resuscitate Orders

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What You Need to Know About Do Not Resuscitate Orders

Like a living will, a Do Not Resuscitate order plays an important role in ensuring that an individual's wishes are considered when life-saving procedures are administered. A Do Not Resuscitate order will direct doctors and paramedics not to attempt resuscitation through cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

There are numerous reasons that an individual may want to obtain a DNR. CPR can save an individual's life if he/she experiences cardiac or respiratory failure. However, in many cases, an individual that suffers from these traumatic conditions will not be able to enjoy the same quality of life that he/she once did. This is especially true when an individual is elderly and suffering from a terminal illness or a quickly deteriorating physical state. If he/she is resuscitated, he/she may still have to rely on life support for continued existence, oa he/she may remain in a vegetative state.

People that have been combating terminal illnesses are often physically and emotionally exhausted from their battle, and they are ready to end the fight when their body decides that it is time. In many cases, elderly individuals that are suffering from increasing physical deterioration have made their peace and are ready to move on. In these situations, an individual may create a DNR so that paramedics and doctors are aware that he/she does not wish to be resuscitated.

Determining whether or not to obtain a DNR may be difficult and emotional for an individual. In many cases, an individual will consider this option before he/she enters a hospital to obtain a surgical procedure. If he/she wishes to attain a Do Not Resuscitate order, he/she will be required to have it approved by his/her physician.

If a doctor approves a DNR, it is a legally binding document to which all medical professionals must adhere. A DNR is not only important when an individual is staying in a hospital, but may also prove necessary if paramedics must provide life saving support to an individual in his/her home. An individual may wish to obtain an out-of-hospital Do Not Resuscitate order.

This document should-be posted in a visible location in his/her home. In the event that an individual suffers from cardiac or respiratory failure in his/her home, paramedics will see the document and be aware that he/she does not with to be revived. Some individual choose to wear a bracelet or a necklace that indicates that he/she has signed a Do Not Resuscitate order. This will help to ensure that his/her wishes are met.

A DNR form can usually be obtained by visiting a local doctor's office. The necessary paperwork may vary by state; therefore, it is essential to ensure that an individual creates a DNR in the state in which he/she resides. While the process of obtaining a Do Not Resuscitate order is often upsetting, it will allow an individual to rest assured that his/her wishes will be upheld. An individual should carefully consider the consequences of enacting a DNR before he/she chooses to sign this legally binding document. 


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