What is the difference between a Living Will and a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order?

Although the terms “living will” or “advance directive” are sometimes used interchangeably with a “do-not-resuscitate order” or “DNR order”, they are not the same thing.

A DNR is an order signed by a doctor which indicates that the patient should not be resuscitated.   This has to be signed by both the doctor and the patient (or their healthcare agent).  Click here to see what a Michigan DNR may look like.

Living Will, on the other hand, is a legal document that allows you to state whether you wish to be kept alive by artificial means if you are terminally ill, in a persistent vegetative state or in an end-stage condition.  You can state specific preferences as to whether you wish to be kept alive with life support or other medical treatments. 

Any questions? Contact me.

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