A Do Not Resuscitate order, often known as a DNR order, is set up to prevent medical professionals from restarting someone’s heart or their breathing if either process ceases. The individual does not want to be kept on life-support, and they don’t want machines to be used to help them breathe or to keep blood flowing. It doesn’t mean they don’t want any medical treatment, but there are certain types that they would like to avoid.
If you do feel this way, for personal reasons or perhaps religious reasons, a DNR order may be a good place to begin. But is it going to be enough? What are some of your other options?
Other methods go farther
It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your estate plan. If all you want to do is avoid life-support and resuscitation, then a DNR order may be enough for you.
But there are other types of orders and legal documents that can go even further. For example, you can set up an advance directive that does the same job as a DNR order, but also lists other types of treatments that you do want or types of treatment that you don’t want. It’s more complex than simply dealing with resuscitation.
Beyond that, you could also consider using a medical power of attorney. If you do this, then you don’t even have to choose the types of treatment you want or do not want in advance. You just pick an agent, and this person is then able to make those medical decisions for you when they need to be made. This means that a power of attorney can address almost any medical condition or treatment that arises.
As you can see, it’s very important to consider all of your options when doing estate planning.