Are there better options than a DNR order?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When people use a DNR order, or a Do Not Resuscitate Order, they do not want life-saving measures to be used in certain circumstances. If their heart stops beating or they stop breathing, they don’t want the medical team to use CPR to bring them back.

Often, people will just say that they believe it is “their time.” They may also say that they don’t want to be kept on life-support or need extensive medical treatment, as that could create financial hardship for their family.

But the problem is that medical professionals would be bound by the DNR order, no matter what the circumstances look like. What if they knew that they could act quickly to save your life, that it wouldn’t lead to expensive treatments, and that you wouldn’t be kept on life support? You may approve the use of CPR in that situation, but you can’t make that decision if you’ve been incapacitated and you already have a DNR order.

A medical power of attorney

One potential option that may be better is to use a medical power of attorney. This documentation gives you the chance to choose an agent. This agent is then authorized to work with your medical team on your behalf. They can make decisions about the type of care that you want or do not want.

This may sound similar to using a DNR order, but it offers much greater flexibility. Your agent can get all of the facts and make the best decision in that moment. You are not bound by decisions you made years or even decades ago.

That being said, you do have to set up the power of attorney in advance in order for it to work in this fashion. Take the time to look into the necessary legal steps.