The Difference Between A Living Will and DNR

Q: Is there a difference between a “living will” and a “do not resuscitate” order?

A: Many people wonder about the difference between a living will and a do not resuscitate order (DNR).

While they both address end-of-life wishes, they are actually two different documents and are typically used in different settings.

Your living will is a written statement reflecting your wishes about life sustaining treatments in the event of a terminal illness, end stage condition or persistent vegetative state.

It acts as a directive to physicians, should you be incapable of advising them orally. This document is typically considered one of the essential estate planning documents and is usually prepared by an elder law attorney.

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