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Is a DNR the Same as a Living Will in Texas?

Posted by Chris Peterson | May 01, 2014 | 0 Comments

Is a DNR the Same as a Living Will in Texas?

DNR living will differenceA DNR, or do not resuscitate order, is not the same thing as a living will. Essentially, a DNR is a directive noted in the medical chart by your attending physician after consulting with you or your legal representative. Ideally, a physician only takes instructions from your legal representative if you lack the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of consenting to a DNR order.

Who gets to make the DNR decision?

If you are critically injured or have a life-threatening illness, your loved ones will probably be asked by hospital staff at some point if a DNR order is in place. All hospitals have procedures for issuing a DNR, including determining whether there is a legally authorized heath care proxy. If a proxy has been appointed, the doctor and the proxy discuss the situation and arrive at decision. If no proxy has been appointed, a family member may be allowed to participate in the decision-making process, depending on hospital rules.

A living will is a proactive planning tool

A living will, sometimes called an advance directive for medical care, is prepared prior to the onset of a debilitating illness or injury, much like a last will and testament is made prior to death. In addition to making it clear how you feel about life-sustaining medical intervention, a living will can designate a health care proxy to communicate your wishes to medical personnel and even authorize your proxy to make the final decision regarding life support, tube-feeding and other medical intervention.

Your living will is a gift to your loved ones

One of the best features of a living will is that it gives your health care proxy and other loved ones proof of your wishes, in the event friends and family disagree about whether you would want have wanted life support or artificial nutrition under certain circumstances. Many people feel strongly about whether they would want to be kept on life support if there were no hope of recovery or regaining a meaningful quality of life, and many a family feud has been waged over whether to remove a loved one from life support. Make sure your family knows what you would want by having a living will.

Call today to get started on your living will

At Peterson Law Group, we help clients plan for the future, no matter what may happen. We take the time to discuss your circumstances in detail and answer your questions. Make an appointment with an experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning lawyer by calling 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681, or visit us online to request a meeting.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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