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Use Caution With Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) in Living Wills
All people, including lawyers, need to be careful with Living Wills and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) clauses. Our relative who was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for 17 years said he would not sign a DNR because he thought the doctor might die if he did. We respected their decision but couldn’t believe that a physician who was primarily saving lives would worry about ending a life. It turns out he was right, however, that a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) document gives nursing homes or doctors the green light to determine when or if a person can receive life-sustaining medical care.
When you’re signing the paperwork to place your loved one in a nursing home, they’ll tell you how humane the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) clause is, which doesn’t require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and/or a defibrillator that can shatter your loved one’s ribs. . However, they don’t inform you that your loved one cannot express their desire for medical care if they lose their mental or physical capacity, and careless people decide to DNR, which means they do not want medical care to prolong their life. Although my wife had a power of attorney requesting medical care for her father, the nursing home staff ignored us and tried to save our family member’s life.
It turns out they had our relative DNR while in a mental fog of infection. The doctor misdiagnosed this patient’s daughter (my wife) by claiming she was mentally ill as she was trying to honor her father’s last wishes. She was unable to communicate adequately with her father so she had reservations about approving the amputation of his leg without his consent which I thought was sensible. This doctor has never met or spoken to my wife and has no psychiatric credentials that we know of. But when a doctor makes a notation in a medical file, the information is given weight by the court, even if it is false. So the nursing home staff took the doctor’s approach of declaring my wife insane for trying to save her father’s life and thus ruling her rights as a power of attorney and legally taking away the life of her father who wanted to live.
Thus, a DNR may be more powerful than a power of attorney in some situations. I do not believe that we are the only victims of this misuse of the DNR clause by some misguided people to prematurely extinguish the value of human life. While the common practice of getting family members to sign an out-of-humane DNR can be somewhat valid with a passionate sales pitch, it can also be abused by people who believe they have the right to decide when a person dies.
It is advisable to include a clause or add a handwritten notation that the DNR does not give any party the right to deny medical care to your loved one. A DNR has the potential to turn a doctor or nursing home employee into a psychiatric patient, and you should have reservations about signing such a document.
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#Caution #Resuscitate #DNR #Living #Wills