Federal Stance on DNR orders
Do Not Resuscitate orders are widely recognized in America as being an advanced directive that anyone over the age of 18 can include in their medical documents, provided they are of sound mind and body. Federal law allows all patients to consult with their doctor on the preference of their medical treatment options if the situation ever proves to be dangerous or fatal. Certain DNR orders can even include palliative care and other forms related to this manner.
As such, states may have different procedures for obtaining a DNR order but must remain uniform. This is to prevent confusion across state lines, provided someone with a DNR is traveling and falls ill near a hospital outside of their state. While some obtain a DNR for religious purposes, others want to spare themselves or their family the trouble of making hard decisions when it comes to that point in their life.
All states will have a uniform law that allows medical professionals to check whether the person has a DNR or not. Due to the nature of the issue, medical professionals who cannot find a DNR or view someone in a critical condition without prior knowledge must perform their services to the best of their ability and assume that there is no DNR in place. The law is very careful in protecting medical practitioners from conducting their duties without fear of unnecessary reprisal.
DNR Comfort Care Arrest Order
One type of DNR order is the Comfort Care- Arrest Order, which is available to all citizens in every state. The patient who has this advanced directive receives all appropriate medical treatment, which includes resuscitation until there is cardiac arrest or heart failure. Once the patient has stopped breathing, the medical professional will not further try and resuscitate the person, but will only apply comfort and bereavement care.
This is a common directive that many people may choose to discuss with their doctor. The premise is that if the person can be cared for and healed, the medical professional will do so to the best of their ability. If that person has stopped breathing and will inevitably pass away, they would not want to be resuscitated due to many reasons, such as financial strain, poor quality of life, or religious reasons.
DNR Comfort Care Order
The DNR comfort care order is different from the comfort care-arrest order. In this directive, the patient has completely rejected all drugs or methods that will correct cardiovascular or heart-related issues. This type of directive is more specific, in that the person will have instructed (or lack thereof) methods of treatment much before the heart stops beating or the person stops breathing. The medical professional is usually only allowed to supply herbal or traditional remedies or pain-relieving medication. It is common to also include comfort and bereavement care in this directive. In some counties, this can be created without the need for a physician's signature, so it is best to check with your local community.