The Importance of a Florida DNR: Do Not Resuscitate Order

A Florida DNR is a document you will not complete with your Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer. Many feel that estate planning is a great area of law because it allows people to plan ahead for how they wish to be treated medically in a scenario when someone is not able to decide on their own.  This is why we recommend that every person plan for their future through estate planning documents such as a will, trust, living will, medical and financial powers of attorney and even simple documents such as a Florida “Do Not Resuscitate Order.”

A Florida DNR, Do Not Resuscitate Order, is a form developed by the Florida Department of Health, known formally as Form 1896, that identifies a person that does not wish to be resuscitated in the event of respiratory or cardiac arrest.  This form, tells hospitals, doctors, and other health providers to not resuscitate you when certain conditions occur because you do not feel your quality of life will be sufficient after resuscitation. We recommend that everyone have a Florida DNR, Do Not Resuscitate Order, if they do not wish to be revived under certain conditions because most doctors and health care providers will attempt to resuscitate a person by default.

A Florida DNR, Do Not Resuscitate Order, (“DNR”) in many ways is similar to a living will; in fact both documents should be used together.  There are some key differences between a DNR and a living will.  A Florida DNR deals specifically with the refusal of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the event of cardiac or pulmonary arrest.  This is a physician’s order, which is signed and dated.  A Florida DNR is a physician’s order to withhold or withdraw resuscitation if a patient goes into cardiac or pulmonary arrest.  It is a part of a prescribed medical treatment plan and must have a physician’s signature and must be printed on YELLOW paper.  It is often written for patients that are terminally ill, suffering from an end-stage condition, or who are in a persistent vegetative state.

A living will is an advanced directive, deal with a broader spectrum of an end of life-related issues.  A living will is a document that instructs what care and treatment a person wants under certain circumstances.  Any competent person can fill out a living will at any time.

A Florida DNR Order is honored in most health care settings including hospices, adult family care homes, assisted living facilities, emergency departments, nursing homes, home health agencies and in hospitals.  Florida law provides that health care providers may follow a DNRO and be immune from criminal prosecution or civil liability.  Further, a medical technician, or a paramedic, may honor a Florida DNR Order even if it was presented to this person outside of a health care facility setting.

The order must meet certain requirements to be valid here in Florida.

The Florida DNR Form must be printed on YELLOW paper. 

EMS providers and hospitals are not obligated to honor a Florida DNR that is printed on WHITE paper or another color other than some shade of YELLOW.
For more information on how to use a Florida Do Not Resuscitate Order for a person that is terminally ill, or facing an end-stage condition, please contact the Jacksonville estate planning attorney at The Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC today.

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