It is every person’s right to refuse or accept medical care. It is the responsibility of healthcare providers and medical professionals to recommend a course of treatment, and they should only follow through with permission from the person who is ill or injured. Choosing to refuse or accept healthcare treatment is a fundamental, universal right that should always be honored. In fact, it is included in the American Hospital Association’s Patient’s Bill of Rights.
Sometimes, patients make the difficult decision to stop accepting treatment — even treatment that is considered lifesaving. There are many reasons for which one might make this decision. Perhaps you have been fighting a terminal illness and no longer wish to be kept alive by means that make you sick, groggy, or uncomfortable. Perhaps you would rather pass on than be hooked up to machines that breathe for you. Regardless of the circumstances, this is a very personal decision.
The main issue here comes about when a person experiences a medical event and is unconscious and therefore unable to communicate his or her wishes. If doctors do not know what you want and cannot ask you, they will assume you want to be kept alive. They will intervene with CPR, intubation, or even electric shock to restart a stopped heart.
That’s where a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order comes in. This order can be made as part of your estate plan to express your wishes about situations in which you would or would not want to be treated if you are dying
How do DNRs work?
A DNR is an advance directive and can be included in your estate plan as a part of a living will. It can also be established as an independent document. Either way, it will become part of your medical chart if you are ever admitted to a hospital. The typical language of a DNR order says that you do not want to undergo any procedure to restore blood flow and heartbeat in cases of cardiac arrest. This would include lifesaving measures such as CPR, intubation to connect you to a breathing machine, electric shocks to restart your heart, and emergency medicines.
Who can help me create a DNR order?
The team at Solan, Park & Robello can help you with this and any other estate planning needs. Estate planning gives you the opportunity to plan for the future, from your end of life care to what will happen to your assets after you’re gone. If you’re ready to get started, contact our team today.