Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) Forms

Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) Forms

Talking about life-ending decisions is not a great party conversation topic. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about their end of life and these forms. It is a very serious topic that does not have much fun attached to it.

However, DNRs and their forms do need to be discussed. People need to know how to communicate their wishes when they are incapable of doing so. The DNR is the best way to tell people what you want to be done when you are too sick to continue.

To learn more about these forms and how to get one, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so your wishes are clearly known and respected.

What is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)?

All a DNR or do not resuscitate order does is tell the caregiver, doctor, or nurses that you do not want to be brought back to life if your heart or breathing stops. It is a clear, concise order that state’s your wishes when you cannot speak for yourself.

These are also called an ‘end of life medical directive’ and should only be used when you are terminally ill. This form tells your doctor that you do not want any life-sustaining treatment and to let you pass peacefully.

There are 4 different types of DNR orders and they are all basically the same even though they have different names to them

  • Do not attempt resuscitation or dnar
  • Allow natural death or and
  • Physician orders for life-sustaining treatment or polst
  • Medical orders for life-sustaining treatment or molst

Other forms of a DNR come in end-of-life planning documents like medical power of attorney, living will, and your last will & testament.

How to get a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR)

In order to state your last wishes about your medical care clearly, you need to have the assistance of your doctor to get a DNR. You two fill out the form together and your doctor has to sign it for it to become valid.

Normally, the form is filled out in a hospital but it can be done in other locations as well. This form should be inserted into your medical records so that all caregivers are aware of it and know your final instructions.

Also, you need to have a sound mind as well as understanding what you are asking the doctors to do. Then, you must make the declaration voluntarily and not be forced into doing it.

The steps are simple:

  • Talk to your doctor first
  • Make your decision
  • Complete the form and sign it, then have your doctor sign it
  • Place in your records, medical chart, or somewhere else where it will be safe

Why Have a Do Not Resuscitate Order?

Many people want to die with dignity and not be kept alive hooked up to a bunch of machines. So they ask for a DNR to prevent unnecessary care and high medical expenses. Also, a DNR makes sure everyone understands your health care process and what you want to be done when you are incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself.

The health care situations where DNRs are used most often are:

  • Long term illnesses
  • Pain that does not go away
  • One is too old to function in society properly
  • You are terminally ill
  • You have dementia or alzheimer’s or similar diseases

Living Will Vs DNR

Technically there is little difference between the two documents except when they are applied. The living will lays out a plan to restrict food, water, assisted breathing over a period of time.

Whereas a DNR stops immediate life-saving action on the part of the medical staff at a hospital or other facility or at your home.

How to Revoke a DNR

This is probably one of the easier tasks associated with a DNR. You simply have to speak to your doctor and get him or her to rescind the order. He will cancel the order in your chart or medical records.

Once that is done, all written notices, bracelets, wallet cards, and similar items need to be destroyed so no one accidentally sees them and does not apply life-saving measures.

How to Write

Step #1: download the form from your computer or get one from the hospital if they have blank ones on file. Of course, if you are using a computer, you can fill out the form online then print the form off once you are done.

Step #2: once you have the blank form in hand, you fill out the information putting it in the right blanks under the correct headings.

Step #3: after filling out the form, double-check to make sure all the information is correct and the right people have signed or indicated they understand the directive

Step #4: when all the information is filled out correctly, double-checked, you then need to sign it and have your doctor sign it. A notary authorizes signatures and has witnesses sign their names on the form.

Consequences of Not Following a DNR

This situation does occur more often than you may think. When it does happen to you, you have the legal right to sue the hospital or care facility for ignoring this order. Once filled out, signed, and accepted, the DNR represents a legal form that is binding on all parties involved.

Plus, once they have been approved, only you can revoke them. Your family does not have the authority to rescind the DNR. The only exception to this is if you appoint someone to act on your behalf through a medical power of attorney.

DNR Forms (Word | PDF)

Final Thoughts

When considering writing a DNR order, take your time and think about it seriously. Make sure you understand the ramifications of what will happen once this order is put into effect.

Then make sure to check the laws of the state you are living in to see the regulations that govern these forms. Make sure you understand all that is involved before signing it. This is one form where you are totally in control of what happens to you.