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Advance Health Care Directives 101

Why Do I Need A Do Not Resuscitate Directive (DNR) If I Have A Living Will And/Or A Health Care Power Of Attorney?

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A DNR order is a doctor’s written order that instructs other healthcare workers not to attempt to revive a patient (resuscitation) if a patient’s heart or lungs stop working. If this order is not written, it is assumed that Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is wanted, no matter what the condition of the patient.

A person can say in a Living Will that CPR is not wanted but this will not stop CPR until the doctor has written the order.

A Healthcare Proxy could ask a doctor to issue a DNR, but the doctor may not be as agreeable to going along with the request as he or she would be if you and the doctor had the discussion. After all, the doctor would be aware that you knew enough about Advance Directives to execute a Healthcare Proxy which likely meant you also knew about a DNR, but that you didn’t sign one.

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