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Importance of DNR and a Living Will

May 26, 2021 | Blog

What is DNR/ Living Will?

DNR stands for Do Not Revive or Do Not Resuscitate. This is a decision that occurs when your heart stops or you stop breathing and don’t want to be brought back to life via CPR or a ventilator. 

Living Will is a written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive.

These two decisions are really important and should be thought about carefully and fully through. Here are some options that can help you feel more prepared. 

Importance of DNR 

Having a DNR order in your medical file allows you to choose the rest of your treatment you want to receive at the end of your life. Without this order medical staff are obligated to revive you. This might not seem like a big deal, but in some cases being on life support can be uncomfortable and traumatic so you would want to be treated a different way.

Speaking to a doctor or medical professional about DNR and your options is important because it allows you to be in charge of your end of life decisions. Having these choices laid out also relieves the pressure of your family members of having to make those tough decisions for you in high stress circumstances. 

Importance of a Living Will 

Despite the name the will is far different than a will where you leave your estates once you pass away. It’s a will that determines how you want to go if you are no longer able to express those decisions for end-of-life medical care. This is extremely important for not only you, but also your family members and health care professionals to determine what you do. This allows them to have guidance to do what is best and most important to you and your well being. Without a living will family members and doctors are left to guess what is the best way to care. If this is the case, sometimes it can end in arguments between doctor and family, which can sometimes be brought to a courtroom and leave a lot of stress and anxiety for all involved. 

How to write a living will 

The requirements for a living will vary by state so many people hire a lawyer to prepare their living will. Most people create a simple document by using a high quality software application that goes along with their state’s laws. Many states have forms for advance directives, allowing residents to state their wishes in as much or as little detail as they’d like. It is important to make clear that you would want to receive palliative care, which is wanting to decrease pain, or an extraordinary measure of not wanting CPR under certain circumstances. To be valid, a living will must meet state requirements regarding notarization or witnesses. A living will can be revoked at any time.

The living will can go into effect as soon as it is signed or can be determined once it is clear the person who is sick can’t communicate his or her wishes for treatment. 

Spring Hills 

We believe it is important to be able to make your own decisions. Though a living will, and the choice of DNR can be an extremely difficult thing to think about, it is vital that you are prepared, aware, and smart about what you want. Being able to have that security that you know you have made the right decision for yourself can give you a sense of comfort and solace. Even if you are not in a position where you are sick, and need to make the decision at the moment, at Spring Hills we want to make sure you, or a loved one, is completely prepared and know all options available.

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