What is a DNR order?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2024 | Estate Planning |

A DNR order is a “Do Not Resuscitate order. This can be used as part of an estate plan. A person who has a DNR order on file does not want to be resuscitated by medical professionals when they stop breathing or when their heart stops beating. This typically means that they don’t want CPR, but it could also refer to other types of resuscitation.

Often, people use a DNR order because they simply believe that this type of medical intervention goes too far. Maybe they’re concerned about long-term health issues or having a low quality of life if they’re kept on life-support. They do want medical assistance at the hospital, but if things go that far, then they have accepted that it is just their time.

There may be better ways to do it

There are some problems with using a DNR order, starting with the fact that you would be incapacitated at the time. You would not know if there were any other details from your medical case that would mean you do want to be resuscitated – such as if the doctors claim you wouldn’t need to be on life support and that you would have a high quality of life.

As such, it may be wiser to use something like a medical power of attorney. You can choose an agent who understands what you want and don’t want, and they can make those decisions for you if necessary. You could also use something like an advance directive or a living will. This also lets you list instructions for the medical team about your treatment, but you can go far beyond simply not being resuscitated.

All of these tools can be beneficial as you craft an estate plan. Take the time to look into all of your options carefully.


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