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The Difficult Choice: Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

            The decision to initiate a "Do Not Resuscitate" (DNR) form is a difficult and personal choice for many individuals. Life changing events can happen to an individual at any time. This can be a challenging time for families and medical staff. Initiating a DNR is one way to ensure than an individual's personal wishes are met concerning life sustaining procedures. DNR's ensure that family members and medical staff honor an individual's wishes should such an event occur. Many times honoring an individual's wishes to initiate DNR are challenging for medical professionals, infringing on professional objective to save lives. Although this choice may prove a difficult one, patients have the right to make personal choices concerning health care decisions, and the advance directive of DNR in the event of medical incapacity.
             DNR's specify that an individual does not wish to be resuscitated in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. DNR regulations vary by state and by hospital. Florida state laws require that DNR forms must be printed on yellow legal paper. Any substitutions will not be accepted. In Florida, an advance directive does not have to be written but must be witnessed to be legal. Local and state regulations require an individual to be either in a vegetative or terminal condition to proceed with a DNR request, which includes hospice care, and EMT's. Both are protected under state law when attending a patient with a signed DNR under these conditions. According to Florida state legislation, resuscitation may be suspended or withdrawn in patient care if a signed DNR order is presented by the patient's primary physician. In order for this order to be legally recognized, it should include signatures of both patient and physician, or authorized person acting on behalf of the patient. In Florida, emergency personnel, first responders, and healthcare professionals are exempt from liability when withholding or suspending resuscitation, (The Florida Legislature, 2013).

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