Do Not Resuscitate Orders

Do not resuscitate orders, or DNRs, are often part of living wills, but can also be used separately. The purpose of the DNR is to ensure that a patient does not receive extraordinary treatment to save his life beyond that which he would want should he become incapacitated and unable to articulate with sound mind his wishes. A Walnut Creek estate planning lawyer can help you write a legally sound DNR.

A Walnut Creek Estate Planning Lawyer Explains How a DNR Is Executed

When you sit down to write a do-not-resuscitate order, it must be in accordance with California law. Your Walnut Creek estate planning attorney can help you obtain the correct form. The DNR contains a physician statement which indicates that the doctor directs that certain specific treatments be withheld. Among the most common of these resuscitations that are named are:

  • Cardiac compression
  • Defibrillation
  • Artificial Ventilation
  • Endotracheal Intubation

As mentioned, the DNR can be a part of the living will. However, a DNR can be executed after a patient becomes incapacitated. This is not true of living wills.

When the DNR is executed, it must be signed by a responsible party. This is usually the court-appointed guardian or healthcare surrogate, but it can also be the physician or the patient himself if he is not incapacitated. It should be noted that if a paramedic team is called, they will administer resuscitation unless the DNR is presented to them as evidence of the patient’s final wishes.


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