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How do I make sure my dad's request for a DNR is honored?

Status: Open    Dec 09, 2014 - 12:54 AM

End of Life

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Expert Answers

Mar 05, 2015 - 02:57 PM

Have copies of his DNR available to provide whenever your dad is going to a new medical provider or facility.

A signed DNR (do not resuscitate) will usually imply that the individual does not want CPR or to be intubated (insertion of a breathing tube).

Some states require that you have both a signed DNR and DNI (do not intubate). It is a safe practice to have both documents.

Most medical facilities will also have your dad’s primary provider sign the documents.

If your dad is in a healthcare facility, I would ask his nurse to make sure that his DNR is recorded.

Also, make sure that all family members know of your dad’s wishes. Remember you are your dad’s advocate.

I don’t think that it hurts to check from time to time to make sure the people caring for your dad remember that he has a DNR/DNI.

Take care not to panic at the last minute and call 911. Some paramedics will interpret your calling them as your changing your mind about the DNR/DNI.


APFM Staff Answers

Mar 04, 2015 - 02:28 PM

My parents posted a sign on their front door stating something to the effect of “EMS responders, please know the residents have legal DNR requests posted on the refrigerator”. Then they had an envelope on the refrigerator with BIG BOLD letters “Legal Do Not Resuscitate Documents” and the signed docs inside.

I have also heard of seniors that wear a DNR bracelet. A quick google search on “medical id jewelry DNR” should provide ample examples.

You can also purchase “medical DNR stickers” to put on ID cards and anywhere else you may think EMS personnel might see them.

And with all these efforts, you can still not guarantee the actual situation, if and when it does arrive, that responders will abide by the order. So you should still check the laws of your state to see what else you can do.

I hope this is helpful.

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