Age Gracefully With A Plan In Place

Should you use a DNR or a medical power of attorney?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2022 | Estate Planning |

You know that it’s hard to predict your future, in a medical sense. You want to address this when you’re doing your estate planning.

One option that you have is to simply use a Do Not Resuscitate order, often called a DNR. This means that you do not want to be kept on life support, so the doctor should not intervene if you pass away. Many people like to use these because they simply feel like it is their time and they don’t want to be a burden on their family.

But should you use a DNR or would you be better off with a medical power of attorney?

Having someone else make the decision

There are pros and cons to both, of course. One of the downsides of a medical power of attorney is that you’re telling someone else to make the decision, which may be hard for them if they are a loved one.

But it can also be very beneficial to have them make the decision because they can react to specifics that you cannot predict. If you simply have a do-not-resuscitate order, the doctor’s hands are tied, even if they think that they could easily help you and that you’d have a very high probability of making a full recovery. They’re not going to violate the order. With a medical power of attorney, your agent can decide if you would want to be on life support or not.

In essence, this is a more flexible and dynamic way to set things up so that your actual wishes, in that moment, are going to be addressed. Carefully consider all of the legal steps to take if you would like to use either one of these as part of your estate plan.