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Do you want to use a 'Do Not Resuscitate' order?

A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order tells medical professionals that you do not want them to utilize any aggressive measures to save your life. Medical care itself is fine, but if you pass away, you want them to stop short of attempting to bring you back. This can be an important part of your estate planning, along with documents like a health care advance directive.

Should you use a DNR order? Obviously, that's a very personal choice and whatever you decide is perfectly fine. That said, it is worth noting that many doctors actually have DNR orders, and some studies have found that about 80% of people claim they do not want doctors to use aggressive measures. Reasons they give include:

  • The medical care can be invasive and painful.
  • Efforts to bring you back and care for you afterward can be incredibly costly for your estate and your family.
  • You may see your quality of life massively decline, even if doctors technically do save your life.

For some people, this just does not fit with how they see the end of their lives. They do not want doctors to try so hard to save them that they spend the last two years of their lives confined to a hospital bed, quickly spending all of the money they planned to pass onto their kids, just to stay alive for a little longer with a really low quality of life.

That's not to say you're wrong if you want doctors to do everything they can, of course. It's always a personal decision that you need to make for yourself. Just make sure you consider it during your estate planning.

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Law Office of Suzanne P. Nicholl, PC
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