The Importance of DNRs and Advance Directives

While planning for medical emergencies and health problems is important at any age, this becomes essential as we get older. It isn’t pleasant to think about Advance Directives and Do Not Resuscitate orders, but the important thing to remember it that it is about ensuring that your wishes are respected in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. Here’s some more information about these legal documents, from our hospice in South Jersey.

What is an Advance Directive?

This is a legally binding document that contains instructions according to an individual’s wishes and state law on how healthcare decisions must be made on their behalf in the event that they are too ill to do so themselves. They can contain a wide range of instructions that cover situations in which you are unconscious, terminal or suffering from a disease that will affect your mental abilities, like Alzheimer’s. In this document, you can appoint an individual to act legally on your behalf for medical decisions (a healthcare proxy), specify if you want to refuse certain treatments like blood transfusions, if you would like to have a DNR order, and even if you would like to be an organ donor or not.

This document is important not only because it helps ensure that your care needs are properly met when you can’t speak for yourself, but that there is also a clear, legal guideline for family and loved ones to follow in this situation.

What is a DNR?

This is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, a legally binding document that forms part of your Advance Directive, in which a person can declare that they don’t want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. This is because without this order, medical staff are obligated to try reviving you. This may not sound like a bad thing, but for many patients who are terminal, being revived and put on life support at the very end of their lives presents a traumatic, uncomfortable and expensive treatment that offers a low quality of life and no true recovery. For these patients, a DNR offers a peaceful and compassionate transition instead.

Expert hospice care in Cape May County, founded on principles of compassion and comfort

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer compassionate, professional hospice care in Cape May County called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice South Jersey, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today and organize your visit.