What Is A Do-Not-Resuscitate Order? 

Some people don’t want any special efforts made to prolong their life.  Many people don’t want to be revived after their heart and breathing stop.  Under Michigan law, people may choose to sign something called a do-not-resuscitate order or DNR. This instructs health care professionals not to revive them after their heart and breathing stop. 

A Do Not Resuscitate order, or DNR, is a legal directive to respect the wishes of a patient not to undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) if their heart were to stop or they were to stop breathing. A Do Not Resuscitate order allows you to choose before an emergency occurs whether you want CPR. It is a decision only about CPR. It does not affect other treatments, such as pain medicine, medicines, or nutrition. 

Who May Complete A Do-Not-Resuscitate Form? 

A competent adult. 

Where Do I Get The Form? 

The forms are available from most hospices and attorney offices.  The Probate Pro can provide you with the form, upon request. 

What happens to the form after I sign it? 

Put it in a visible place in your home. You should tell your family or friends that you have signed a do-not-resuscitate order.  Tell them where to find it. You may also choose to wear a do-not-resuscitate bracelet to make it visible. 

Can I Be Forced To Sign A Do-Not-Resuscitate Order? 

Absolutely not. No one may require it as a condition for care or treatment. 

Can I change my mind after I sign a form? 

Yes. You may cancel it at any time by any means of communication possible. 

Will My Insurance Coverage Be Affected If I Sign Such An Order? 

No. The law says that your insurance provider can’t change, stop, refuse to renew, or invoke a suicide exemption or exclusion. 

Have Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders Changed? 

Yes.  Before, they applied only in health care facilities such as hospitals. They did not cover people outside of these facilities, such as terminally ill patients at home. Licensed health care professionals were required to try and revive anyone who had no heart beat or sign of breathing. 

Under Michigan law, a Do-NotResuscitate order is valid outside of a health care facility. A specific bracelet may be worn to signal that an order has been signed.  When the order is present or the bracelet is worn, and emergency responder cannot start resuscitation. 

Can a Guardian sign a Do Not Resuscitate Order? 

Yes. MCL 700.5314 authorizes a Guardian with the powers to: 

  • Give the consent or approval that is necessary to enable the ward to receive medical or other professional care, counsel, treatment, or service.
  • Execute a Do Not Resuscitate order on behalf of a ward
  • Reaffirm and/or revoke a Do Not Resuscitate order on behalf of a ward.

What must a Guardian Do in advance of Signing a Do Not Resuscitate Order? 

The statute mandates that a guardian shall not execute a Do Not Resuscitate order unless the guardian does all of the following: 

  1. Not more than 14 days before executing the Do Not Resuscitate order, the Guardian visits the ward and, if meaningful communication is possible, consults with the ward about executing the Do Not Resuscitate order 
  1. The Guardian consults directly with the ward’s attending physician as to the specific medical indications that warrant the Do Not Resuscitate order. 
  1. If a Guardian executes a Do Not Resuscitate order, not less than annually after the Do Not Resuscitate order is first executed, the guardian shall do all of the following: 
  • Visit the ward and, if meaningful communication is possible, consult with the ward about reaffirming the Do Not Resuscitate order. 
  • Consult directly with the ward’s attending physician as to specific medical indications that may warrant reaffirming the Do Not Resuscitate order. 

The Probate Pro can assist with these difficult and important estate planning decisions. Contact The Probate Pro at (877) YOUR-FIRM for more assistance.