There are many important matters that arise around the issues of medical care. One is how we wish to be treated if we are not able to communicate our own choices. Advanced Directives and "Do Not Resuscitate" orders attempt to make those wishes known when we can't answer for ourselves due to coma or emergency situations. A "Do Not Resuscitate" order deals with what will happen if your heart and breathing stop.
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Decide what you want to have done on your behalf as to it relates to medical treatment. If you decide that you choose not to have any life saving procedures performed in the event of your heart stopping or breathing stopping, then you need to specify those in a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order.
Discuss this decision with your physician. He will need to sign the order that will make your wishes known. If your physician is against this choice or you don't have a physician, there are forms that can be filled out that don't require one.
Find a friend that is willing to be a witness to this order. It can't be a family member.
Fill out the legal document of which there are blank forms that you can obtain and sign it. You must now have your physician (if you so choose) and witness both sign it.
Apply for a Medic Alert bracelet that refers to the Do-Not-Resuscitate order. This is the only way emergency personnel and hospital staff will know of your wishes.
Tell your family members of your wishes and tell them where to find the Do-Not-Resuscitate order in the event it is needed.
Tips and warnings
- This order refers only to CPR. If you have definite wishes about any other types of treatments, they need to be specified in an Advanced Directive order.
- This order will be in effect until you and only you change it. No one can alter it except you.
- Make sure you think this through carefully. It should not be done if there is any doubt that you could feel differently in the future.
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