Can your family get rid of your do-not-resuscitate order?

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End-of-life decisions can be complicated when someone’s family members don’t agree.

Consider this scenario: You decide you want a do-not-resuscitate order (DNR), feeling that if it’s your time, it’s your time. You don’t want the doctors to revive you when there is little hope that you will lead a healthy, productive life after the fact. You also don’t want to be a financial strain on your family — which could happen if they have to pay for around-the-clock hospital care for you.

It’s your decision. You didn’t arrive at it lightly, but you think it’s the right thing to do.

When you have the DNR order drafted, you tell your children so that they’ll understand how things should proceed if you wind up in the hospital and unable to communicate your wishes. Unfortunately, they’re very against it and ask you to take the order off of your medical record. They feel like there’s always a chance you’ll recover.

You remain unswayed, but what you worry about is this: If you have a medical emergency, will your children persuade the doctors to overlook your DNR?

You don’t have to worry; they cannot do so. The order stands, no matter what your family members want. Doctors will follow your order instead of your family’s wishes.

Legally speaking, you’re protected. Your wishes will stand. However, you may still want to sit down with your children and have an in-depth conversation about this as you go through all of your other estate planning steps. It’s important that your family members are all on the same page. You have the time to explain all of your decision and desires to them in advance, which can often make things easier for family members to accept in the future.

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