Many people have advance directives, but they often express general, or vague ideas of how they would like to be cared for when they are unable to speak for themselves, or are in a clear state, or in the process of dying. One advance directive that is important to consider having, once you are older is the Do-Not-Resuscitate order. I was able to locate the DNR order for my state- South Carolina on the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website.
Thinking about end of life options is incredibly daunting. You have to try to consider different circumstances you may or may not be in; far down the road. Knowing which documents to complete, whether or not you need a lawyer, and who to give copies to, all add to the complexity of the decision making process.
Today, I want to introduce you to a specific advance directive called the DNR or the Do-Not-Resuscitate order. It means if your heart stops, you do not NOT want CPR. Many individuals think their Living Will is sufficient to address this topic, but my experience years ago working as a social worker taught me that the language used in the Living Will was too general, making it insufficient for this specific medical intervention. It was necessary to discuss and have on record a DNR if the patient had strong beliefs about accepting the end of life when his or her heart and breathing stops.
Many people are hesitant to sign a DNR when they are younger, because they are worried what might happen if they were in a car accident or had some other tragic event when they would want CPR.
As you age, and if you feel strongly about this issue, talk to your doctor about your wishes and consider signing a DNR. Make sure your doctor and loved ones have a copy.