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Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

Non-hospital DNR

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Unless a state specifically permits non-hospital DNRs, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are obligated  to administer CPR and to do what they can to maintain life - even if there is a Living Will or a person acting as health care proxy who tries to stop it..

Approximately half the states have enacted laws that give validity to non-hospital DNRs that will be recognized and respected by EMS personnel. The states generally require a special document. In some states a bracelet must be worn.

The states that have enacted legislation authorizing the use of these "pre hospital" or "non hospital" DNR documents are:  Alabama, Alaska, , Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

To check the law in your state, offsite link has a listing of state laws. Look under "Health". Since laws relating to these documents (advance directive laws) may be in different portions of a state's codes, also look under Public Health, Probate, as well as Health and Safety. Alternatively, local Medicaid offices are required to maintain written descriptions of the state's laws regarding DNRs and other Advance Directives. You can find the location of the nearest Medicaid office via offsite link or in the Government pages of your telephone directory.

Of course you can always contact an attorney. (To learn how to find a free or low cost attorney, click here.)

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