It can be a trying time for an individual or a family when end-of-life decisions have to be made. Emotions run high and the ability to make a sound decision goes out the door. It is wise to know the facts surrounding an issue before a decision arrives. For that reason, the ability to create a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order before there is a need is paramount. Here are steps.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Find the form online. DNRs are common and templates of the form exist throughout the Internet. Having more than one version of the form helps the decision-making process. To gain access to the forms, search for “DNR form” or the words “Do Not Resuscitate.”
Discuss the scenarios that might warrant a DNR. The topic may seem morbid, but should definitely be discussed in cases where there is a terminal illness, low quality of life, debilitating conditions, risk of cardiac arrest and cases where there is an long term loss of consciousness. These are just some of the scenarios where DNR discussions are appropriate. There may be more.
Ask medical professionals. Most medical professionals are familiar with DNR orders and can provide real-life experiences about when they were used and how feasible they are in certain situations.
Determine the state where the DNR will be executed. Different states may have slightly different laws governing how DNRs are handled. In one state, for example, DNRs may not apply to EMT workers while laws may be much broader in other states.
Communicate the existence of a DNR to pertinent family members and providers involved in the care of a patient. In order to make sure a DNR is executed properly, anyone who would potentially be involved in a family member’s health crisis should be aware what the DNR covers and when it applies.