Terminal and incurable illness put unimaginable pain and suffering to ourselves and loved ones. And sometimes, deciding to let life slip away from their hands may also mean stopping them from suffering any further. A DNR or a do not resuscitate order form is one (legal) option to stop a patient from suffering any further. This is by giving the green light to stop any life-saving measures in conditions where they’re likely to not respond to it. Read More
A DNR or do not resuscitate order form is a document for terminally-ill individuals who don’t want to be brought back to life by CPR, defibrillation, and other life-saving measures. This document is certified and authorized by the patient’s physician and indemnifies the party requesting and acting on this document from any liabilities. A DNR order is usually signed by patients themselves or by their representatives.
How to Complete Do Not Resuscitate Order
Usually, the patient or an authorized representative signs the DNRs or do not resuscitate order forms are by terminally-ill patients or their representatives who no longer see a foreseeable path to cure. This is very common among the elderly and cancer patients who are already in an advanced stage. DNR Forms are very difficult for anyone to sign. But in cases that such a decision is necessary, here are the steps on how to complete a do not resuscitate order form.
1. Discuss the Matter With Your Doctor
Discussing the possibility of signing a DNR with a doctor is very difficult for the patient or their representatives. But it’s still necessary to understand the situation and as well as such an option should events turn into worse. A DNR or do not resuscitate order is a doctor’s directive that affirms that the patient waives any form of life-saving measures voluntarily and with a clear understanding of its implications.
2. Fill Out the Section that Represents You
A DNR or do not resuscitate order is either signed by the patient or by its relatives. But in case a living will or advance directive is present, the patient’s attorney-in-fact can also sign the DNR as well. The form will have sections reserved for the patient, their relatives, or agent, so fill and sign them according to the party that you represent.
3. Get the Doctor’s Authorization
A DNR or do not resuscitate order is invalid without the doctor’s authorization, as it affirms that the patient and its representatives understand the consequence of such a request. Aside from that, it also contains instructions for attending medical personnel as well as indemnifying them from any liabilities. This step can be completed while discussing the matter with your doctor and make sure he signs the order right after.
4. Let the Witnesses Sign the Form
Aside from the doctor, witnesses can also affirm the truthfulness of the reason behind the DNR. They also attest that the directive was signed and entered voluntarily by the parties involved. Different states have different requirements on how many can serve as witnesses, so make sure to check those before assigning any.
5. Notarize the DNR Form
After completing all the previous steps, the last thing you need to do is to notarize the DNR or do not resuscitate order form. This will further verify and affirm the signatures of the parties present, as well as the legitimacy of the document. Aside from this, notarizing the DNR is also a state requirement as well. All you need to do is visit your local public notary and sign the DNR or do not resuscitate order in front of him.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a doctor refuse to sign a DNR or do not resuscitate order?
Since a DNR or do not resuscitate order is a doctor’s directive, so the authorization of such an order depends on his discretion as well. A doctor will authorize such order upon determining that the patient’s condition is beyond curing or can no longer be treated. Likewise, he can also refuse such authorization if he reason to do so as well.
Does a DNR or do not resuscitate order requires notarization?
Notarizing a DNR or do not resuscitate order depends whether if the state where it’s created requires so or not. So it’s better to check them out before doing so. Notarizing a DNR or do not resuscitate order acknowledges the legitimacy and authenticity of the document. And, you can also have it notarized even if your state doesn’t require so if you wish to.
How many witnesses should sign the DNR or do not resuscitate order?
It has always been a requirement for witnesses to sign the DNR as this affirms that the document was executed voluntarily by the parties. Often, a DNR or do not resuscitate order requires at least two persons as witnesses. But, it will also vary according to the signing requirements of the state in which the DNR was created.
Can a DNR or do not resuscitate order be revoked?
Yes, provided that you should consult and obtain the permission of a doctor first. To do that, make sure that you present any proof that you don’t need a DNR for the patient, such as the latest medical reports, findings, certificates, etc. Also, make sure to destroy any document that will assert the DNR, including bracelets, cards, and other indicators.
Is a DNR or do not resuscitate order considered as a living will?
No. a DNR or do not resuscitate order is different from a living will. A living will or advance directive is a power of attorney that assigns an agent to decide and act on medical matters on the patient’s behalf. On the other hand, DNR or do not resuscitate order is one of the instructions included in a living will or advance directive.
DNRs or do not resuscitate orders are some of the most difficult decisions to make. This is because it will mean letting go of a loved one or leaving them behind. But no matter how painful, doing so might also mean helping them ease their suffering. But sometimes, making such decisions might not be necessary. So always consult and discuss the matter with your physician before deciding on a do not resuscitate order.