What are all of these documents and why do I need them? Keep reading.
A DNR or a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, is a document you obtain from regular treating physician. It is typically printed on yellow paper and serves to inform first responders that should they find you either not breathing, or without a heart beat, they should not attempt to revive you. It should be kept on your refrigerator, which is where first responders are trained to look for it.
A Health Care Surrogate form is the document in which you designate someone to act on your behalf to make medical decisions should you be unable to do so. It is sometimes called a health care power of attorney document.
A Living Will is the document you sign that states if you are in an end of life condition, and two medical doctors determine that providing you with life prolonging procedures will not actually prolong your life, then you do not wish to have them. This is sometimes referred to as the “pull the plug” document. This document helps alleviate stress and debate and taking the responsibility off your loved ones.
Ask questions! If you have any questions at all regarding the implications of these documents do not hesitate to contact your doctors and attorneys.
-Emily A. Helmick, Esq.