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Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

What Is A DNR Directive?

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A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Directive is an Advance Directive that puts in writing your wish that nothing be done to revive you if your heart or lungs stop working. The medical profession calls these events "cardiac arrest" and "respiratory failure" respectively.

A DNR Directive has nothing to do with the question of whether to shut off machines such as ventilators or dialysis machines or to stop nutrients or fluids. For documents concerning those subjects, see Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney.

There are two types of DNR directive:

  • For use in a medical facility (in-hospital) - which is permitted in all states
  • For use outside a hospital setting (non-hospital) - which is permitted in a large number of states, but not all.

An in hospital DNR will not be honored by emergency personnel outside of a medical facility setting.

A DNR is primarily used by people who are approaching the end of their life. It is particularly useful to people who know that if they are revived, they will face a quality of life they don't want.

Unlike a Living Will or a Healthcare Power Of Attorney, in most states, a DNR has to be signed by both the patient and the attending doctor.

A DNR can be rescinded at any time.

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