Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Wishes and the Elderly.

September 25, 2011
By Patricia Davis on September 25, 2011 9:58 AM |

DNR.jpgFlorida elders know the importance of having a Living Will prepared. A Florida Living Will is a legal document, which expresses a person's wishes as to life-prolonging procedures. A Living Will typically only comes in to play when certain legally defined conditions exist. These conditions are:


  • a Terminable Condition;

  • an End-State Condition; and

  • a Persistent Vegetative State

An Eighty year old granddmother made her wishes plain as day, when she had the words "Do Not Resuscitate" tattooed across her chest. She is not kidding around. Just in case emergency personnel find her face down, a large tattoo "PTO" with an arrow is inked on her back. It's not that this Octogenarian has a death wish, it's just that her feelings are Strong that she not be kept alive through artificial means. If she is in a vegetative state, she does not want her family to remember her as a "lump".

When asked whether her tattoos were legally sufficient, a General Medical Council spokesman stated that most doctors would ignore her DNR tattoo. He said her DNR wishes need to be put in writing and witnessed, or for a health surrogate to be designated.

Moral of story. . . before you get inked, consult with a Jacksonville Advance Health Directives Attorney about having the legal documents prepared to express your end of life health care wishes. A Florida Living Will, executed pursuant to Florida Statutes, establishes a rebuttable presumption of clear and convincing evidence of a person's wishes.