A DNR Order means “Do Not Resuscitate”. It’s a legal document that tells medical professionals not to perform CPR. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) restarts your heart and breathing. CPR may involve mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, external chest compressions, electric shock, insertion of a tube to open your airway, injection of medication into your heart, or even opening your chest to massage your heart.
If you don’t have a DNR Order, it is assumed you would want CPR. DNR orders come from a physician, so if you want CPR to be withheld, discuss your decision with your doctor, who must sign the order for it to be valid. A DNR Order applies only to CPR; it doesn’t effect any other treatment you may receive.
When deciding on a DNR order, take into account what your quality of life might be like if you receive CPR under certain medical conditions and write your thoughts down on page 13 of the Kit, which also tells you where to find your state’s form. Includes a DNR wallet card for you and your physician to sign.