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The DNR and The Living Will

There was a new story regarding a nursing home facility in the area where 3 employees violated protocol by not administering CPR to an 85-year-old resident. The resident allegedly did not have a DNR on file.  And according to his daughter, he wanted full code protocol which means he wanted to be administered life-saving procedures in an attempt to revive him. The family may be taking legal action against this facility.

 

However, outside of this particular situation, it brings up the importance of having a DNR and a Living Will on file which specifies your wishes for when these circumstances occur.

 

A DRN is a form that is signed by both the patient and the doctor which orders all medical personnel not to revive you if your heart stops beating.

 

Whereas, a Living Will is an advanced directive signed by an individual which specifies their wishes. It states that, if and when you are incapacitated and are facing an end stage condition, in a vegetative state and two doctors agree that there is no possibility of recovering whether or not to keep you on a respirator.

 

An advanced directives that addresses both a Living Will and A DNR in the same document is legally binding as long as the DNR portion is signed by a doctor as well.

 

In addition to these estate planning documents, you should consider signing a durable power of attorney to appointment someone for financial decisions and a health care surrogate for medical decisions.

 

Though most people don’t expect bad things to happen and usually wait too long to prepare for these events, it is better to be prepared.

 

In summary

 

Nursing homes owe a duty to their residents

Know the importance of a DNR

Remember the difference between a DNR and living will

Prepare in advance with estate planning documents

 

 

 

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