One type of medical document that people sometimes use when they are doing their estate planning is known as a DNR order. DNR stands for “do not resuscitate” order.
Essentially, if a patient’s heart stops beating or they stop breathing, they do not want medical personnel to take steps to get this started again. They are opposed to things like cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. If the patient reaches this point, they would like medical teams to stop their efforts to save their life.
There’s more you should know:
Resuscitation can mean a few different things
One thing to remember is that resuscitation refers to different tactics by medical providers to give the care that is needed. This may be a bit different from one case to another, but they may all fall under the umbrella terms of the DNR. Some examples include:
- Using medicine
- Inserting breathing tubes to an obstructed airway
- Restarting the heart by using an electric shock
- Using chest compressions
- Offering simple mouth-to-mouth breathing treatments
A person likely uses a DNR order simply because they only want basic medical treatment. They may be concerned about being on life-support, for instance, and seeing themselves as a burden to their family. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want doctors to try to save them if there’s a medical emergency, such as a heart attack. But there’s a certain point where they think that those efforts may go too far.
If you’re making your estate plan and this is something that you’ve been considering, it’s often important to know what legal steps to take to get the DNR order set up in advance. The only way that this is going to work is if you make sure that it is done perfectly from the beginning.