DNR – it’s not just a “good idea”
Many clients ask if they should sign a DNR, Do Not Resuscitate order. The answer is very straight forward. Yes, of course, UNLESS you want medical science to keep you alive using every conceivable tool at their disposal. Here is why.
Every other document that people usually sign when doing “Estate Planning” anticipates events that will take time, patience, and labor to be effective. Health Care Powers of Attorney, and Advance Directives all require that someone do something, say something, sign something, when the time for a decision about whether you live or die is at hand.
Of course, given modern medical practice, technology and drugs, if you want to be allowed to die as gently as possible the window of opportunity to allow that to happen is often only a few seconds long. After all, once they set about saving you, it is very likely that you will survive, and even be stabilized, to go forward with your individual process of dying.
The DNR form is the one fairly universally recognized form that allows medical personnel to just stand back and let it happen. And, in reality, that is what most people want when they take the time to do any of these documents. So, if you are entering care, beginning Hospice, transferring to a Skilled Nursing Facility or private care home, DON’T forget to have a fresh DNR on hand. It is the practical step that makes all the rest truly effective.