What You Should Know About DNR Orders

What You Should Know About DNR Orders

A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is used to instruct care providers who receive a patient not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or various other life-saving procedures to restart a heart or breathing. Examples include external chest compressions, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, electric shock, heart injections and various other CPR methods.

These orders are typically established by people who are already critically ill, and go along with other medical directives that give care providers instructions for the kind of care a patient does and does not wish to undergo. The idea is that such an order can help the patient avoid prolonged, unnecessary suffering.

Enacting a DNR

A DNR order is not the same as a health care surrogate designation or living will. While you are in the hospital, you can simply request a DNR be added to your record. In Florida, a DNR order may only be issued by a physician and must be on a prescribed form.

These orders can be prepared by requesting a form from your doctor, hospital or hospice. A DNR order does not stop you from receiving medical care in a hospital. The order only applies to lifesaving measures that would restart your heart or your breathing. Other medical care will still be applied as normal, including antibiotics, pain relief, chemotherapy and other medical treatments.

To learn more about DNR orders and how to implement them, contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.