An Advance Directive tells your doctor what kind of care you would like if you become unable to make medical decisions. Advance Directives can take many forms:
A Living Will only comes into effect when you are terminally ill. This means that you have less than six months to live. You can describe the kind of treatment you want in certain situations. A Living Will does not automatically include a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.
A Durable Medical Power of Attorney states whom you have chosen to make healthcare decisions for you. It becomes active any time you are unconscious or unable to make decisions for yourself.
A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is a request not to have CPR if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. An In-Hospital DNR order is placed on the patient’s chart and is identified by an orange sticker. An Out-Of-Hospital DNR order must be easily identifiable, unaltered and intact. An example would be a metal bracelet or necklace inscribed with the words, “Do Not Resuscitate – OOH”.