What Is A DNR And Do I Need One?

Welcome back to another Thinking on Thursday topic. The answer to this one is it depends.

First off, what is a DNR? DNR is an acronym for Do Not Resuscitate. It is a legal and binding order that makes it illegal for healthcare providers to begin CPR on you. CPR is another acronym for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, which simply means in the event your heart stops beating or you stop breathing.

You can not have a legal and binding DNR without a valid doctor’s signature. It also has to be witnessed. A DNR can be rescinded if you decide you don’t want one.

The question of whether you need one is always controversial. If you are under the age of 50, especially if you do not have a terminal illness, getting a doctor to sign a DNR order will not be easy. However, not everyone has the same perception of what being alive, or quality of life means to them. That is why you need a Living Will, especially to make it known what your wishes would be if you suddenly went into cardiac or respiratory arrest. It is never the point of these posts to define what living or quality of life means. Those are very personal subjects and ones you should explore on your own and with your family.

If you decide that you want and or need a DNR make sure it is legal with all signatures required. Then make sure your doctor, family members, and your living will all have copies. You can also file a copy with your local emergency services, and the hospital you frequent. You can carry a copy in your wallet or purse, and I think there are special bracelets you can purchase. Know your state laws in regards to a DNR. Some states may not honor the DNR unless you have the DNR insight on the yellow paper.

As we age these are very important discussions and decisions to make.

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