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Why Do I Need a DNR Order?

DNR Order form

Many people are unaware that estate planning involves more than the distribution of your property after you die. AN important part is planning for your incapacity. One tool everyone should consider having in their plan is a do-not-resuscitate order. This order is often called a DNR or DNR order.  In estate plans, you should have a bundle of documents that address the possibility of incapacity, called Advance Directives, of which a DNR order is often included.

What Does a DNR Order Cover?

A DNR order is a legal document that states your preference regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation known as CPR The document indicates if you do not want CPR or other CPR-related procedures performed if your heart stops. CPR can involve several things, including chest compressions, mouth-to-mouth breathing, drugs, and electric shock with an automated external defibrillator. The DNR order is signed by a doctor and has the power and effect of a physician’s order.

When you are incapacitated and unable to communicate what intervention you want to be performed, this order communicates what you want as regards to CPR. It expresses your wishes to healthcare providers and loved ones.

Including a DNR Order in Your Advance Directives

Advance Directives are a group of documents that direct healthcare providers and loved ones about what type of care you wish to receive or not receive, as well as appoint a person you trust to make decisions on your behalf, while you are incapacitated. You can become incapacitated due to a serious accident, an illness, or mental decline. In Florida, advanced directives generally include a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, and Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNRO).

The decision of whether to include a DNRO in your Naples estate plan is extremely personal. Many people who create DNROs have terminal illnesses or other serious medical conditions for which resuscitation is not necessarily a good choice.

What If I Do Not Include a DNR?

If you do not have a Do-Not-Resuscitate order and your heart and natural breathing stop, medical professionals will perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

However, if you have a designated health care surrogate acting as your agent for medical decisions, they can create a legally binding DNRO on your behalf. In your designation of health care surrogate, you can expressly include this authority.

Call A Naples Estate Planning Lawyer

Contact estate planning attorney James Nici to discuss DNR Orders, Advanced Directives, and other documents that can plan for the possibility of a case where you are no longer able to participate or communicate decisions about your care and life-saving measures. Putting your wishes in place in an easily referencable form allows for good decisions to be made about your care. Though it is hard to think about such possibilities, it is better for loved ones to know what you would want. Decisions can be made in keeping with what you want and not what others want.

James R. Nici is an experienced Naples estate planning attorney with over 25 years of experience, board-certified in Wills, Trusts, and Estates, and very capable of assisting you in making a plan. Contact our office today at (239) 449-6150 to set up a free consultation.

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