Should a healthy ninety-two year old woman sign a do not resuscitate (DNR) order for herself?
A client of mine was given that choice recently. She is marvelously modern, healthy and alive, having a spirit that is deep in wisdom and fresh with optimism and grace — and a body that is holding up well! She lives alone, has many friends, and is active in the community.
She decided not to sign the DNR. She wants to be resuscitated! She told me that if there is a chance for her to be resuscitated back into a life of quality, she’d like that opportunity.
What an affirmation of the power and beauty of life! I recommend that all my clients do advance planning like advance medical directives, durable powers of attorney, and wills/estate planning. But in the process of all that paperwork, it’s possible to lose sight of the fact that WE WANT TO LIVE!
I have learned from my clients that the affirmation of life is the key to all good things. The most meticulous care can be deadening to the spirit if it is not done with respect and love. And the most difficult moments can blossom with beauty when they are handled with affection, honor, and a rock solid communication that the person we are speaking to is precious to us.
A note about Do Not Resuscitate Orders: These documents are governed by state laws. In Virginia, they must be obtained from and signed by a physician under certain circumstances and can only be honored if the original document, a legible copy, or certain approved alternate forms of bracelet or necklace identification are present. Learn more about Virginia’s Do Not Resucitate laws through this link to the Virginia Department of Health DNR website page.
For inspiration about how you can discuss advance medical directives with your family, see this Independent Lifestyles Newsletter article.
For more information about how a Care is There geriatric care manager can help you with aging in place or long distance caregiving, visit our website at careisthere.com or email us at email@example.com.
Holly Hilton says
Perusing through your blogs; lots of enjoyable reading, my esteemed colleague! Just wanted to post the updated law re DDNR’s here: As of July 21, 2011, legible copies of DDNRs are valid.
Elizabeth Swider says
Holly, thanks for updating us on the laws regarding do not resuscitate orders (DDNRs) in Virginia — I’ve just updated my post to include this revision!
Fans, for all the legal details on Virginia do not resuscitate orders, contact elderlaw attorney Holly Hilton at Hilton and Associates: http://www.hiltonandassociateslaw.com/
Holly and I know each other from Charlottesville’s Aging in Place Business Round Table, where you can meet all sorts of other senior service providers: http://www.cvilleseniors.org/profile/AginginPlaceBusinessRndTble