It may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but it is important to know your options when it comes to end-of-life care. Estate planning involves two tools: the living will, and the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. Although they both provide instructions and control outcomes during end-of-life situations, they have unique applications and serve different purposes. Yet, understanding the differences between these two tools is critical to making informed decisions about one’s future care.

dnr order

What Does a Do Not Resuscitate Order Mean? 

In Louisiana, a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order form is used to direct healthcare professionals not to perform resuscitation in case a patient experiences cardiac arrest. This order only becomes effective at the time of the patient’s death and is typically used by individuals with a chronic illness, a terminal disease, or other acute medical conditions.  

If you do not have a DNR order, medical care professionals are obligated to use any available measures to save your life, regardless of how extreme they may be. While younger patients may not require a DNR, those who are elderly or in poor health may choose to have one to ensure that their wishes are respected.

What Exactly Is a Living Will? 

A living will is a legal document that enables you to communicate your wishes for end-of-life care. It provides instructions on medical assistance and outlines what actions should be taken if you reach certain circumstances, such as a terminal and irreversible condition or an unconscious state with no chance of recovery. 

By creating a living will, you can ensure that your healthcare preferences are respected and followed even if you cannot communicate them yourself.

What Are the Differences Between a Do Not Resuscitate Order and a Living Will

It is important to understand that a Do Not Resuscitate order is not the same as a living will. A DNR instructs healthcare providers not to attempt to revive you if you suffer cardiac or respiratory arrest, which means your heart stops beating or you stop breathing. In comparison, a living will covers all types of life-sustaining treatments and procedures after you develop a terminal and irreversible condition. As a result, a living will is broader, primarily because a DNR only applies to these two specific situations, while a living will covers a wider range of scenarios.

To Learn More About a DNR or Living Will, Contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC Today

Whether you need assistance creating a living will or require more information to achieve more complex objectives, Losavio & DeJean, LLC is here to provide you with comprehensive and experienced representation. 

Preparing a living will and planning your estate in Louisiana is a vital step in safeguarding your family or loved ones in the event of incapacity or death. That is why if you have any questions regarding these plans, please get in touch with us today or call us at 844.779.2551.