Family doctor explains what a do not resuscitate is

Attorney Tom Olsen: Let’s go to Charles; he is a care giver and he can give us some more information about a “Do Not Resuscitate”. Go ahead Charles. 

Charles: Yes, I’m a family doctor and St. Clouds semi area. A “Do Not Resuscitate” order is a sheet of paper, commonly a yellow piece of paper to make it distinctive from other documents people have. It can be filled out at your doctor’s office or inside a hospital. The way I explain it to people is; a living will is often filled out long ahead of time on the conceptual basis that a person could get a terminal illness and would not want to be kept alive that way. But often the problem is way out in the future, not immediate.  

Attorney Tom Olsen: Right.

Charles: Typically a DNR order is filled out when that becomes a reality in their life. They know they have lung cancer, they know they have end-stage COPD, they have an active sort of obvious process that they and we expect their life to end within the next six months, two years. There is no defined period of time. And this piece of paper, as you said, is something that-- and only this piece of paper-- if they have it at their home and they dial 911 for help, would prevent the emergency rescue personnel from putting them on a breathing machine, shocking them. Any physician who is so inclined can fill that out for a patient but you do have to request it and then you have to hold on to it. It’s good as long as you have it. It’s not usually maintained anywhere else so if you throw away or lose your copy, you are going to probably need to hope your doctor kept a copy, or get another one. But it’s an easy document to get and it’s certainly-- if you know you might not survive another year or two, it’s something that is very underutilized. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: Charles, thank you so much for bringing us up to speed on that. We do so much appreciate it. While we are at it, let’s say God bless doctors, nurses and hospital staff, they are wonderful. Thank you for all that you do for all the people, Charles, we appreciate that.

Charles: No problem.

Chrissy: Yes. Thank you, Charles.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right. Bye-bye.