DNR and Guardianship: Who Can Sign One and When

Woman in hospital hugging another woman

Guardians have enormous responsibilities that can often be challenging and stressful. One such responsibility is that relating to DNR orders. DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) for an incapacitated person can be signed by a guardian.

However, this rule may differ depending on the State, as each State has laws regarding who can sign it and when. This is why we have compiled this guide on everything individuals need to know about guardianship and DNR.

What Is a DNR?

Typically, when an individual is incapacitated and hospitalized, they are unable to make their own decisions regarding instances when resuscitation, typically in the form of CPR, is needed. DNR is an advanced order related to life-saving treatments and their administration on the ward, otherwise known as the incapacitated individual.

If a DNR has been signed, doctors and other medical professionals will not try to save the ward’s life through treatment. For example, they will not give CPR to the individual. However, if the DNR has not been signed, these professionals are required to resuscitate and carry out life-saving treatments.

Who Can Sign a DNR?

In New York State, a legal guardian can sign a DNR on behalf of the ward. However, due to the sensitive nature of a DNR, there are some safeguards and restrictions in place. The guardian does not need to be an immediate family member, but they need to be the ward’s legal guardian. Moreover, the DNR should also be approved by a doctor.

If it is possible to communicate with the ward, the guardian should inform them about the DNR order. Other than that, the DNR should also be signed by two witnesses above the age of eighteen.

Moreover, in some cases, a doctor may also sign a DNR for the ward, depending on their condition. However, they most likely would communicate with the ward beforehand. In such cases, the ward’s family will be unable to override this.

Revoking a DNR

Besides signing the DNR, the guardian also has the authority to revoke the DNR. But this should be done only in the best interests of the ward. For revoking, the ward’s doctor will need to be consulted.

When to Sign a DNR

Individuals can sign their own DNR when in the hospital and if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. If they cannot speak for themselves, they can hire a legal guardian who can make the decision for them when the time is right.

Whether you have to sign your own DNR or that of a loved one, it is essential to consult the healthcare physician about the condition of the patient. Individuals should not rush the decision to sign DNRs, but luckily, these can be revoked if needed.

Contact an Estate Lawyer in Queens, Brooklyn, or New York

It is not easy to be someone’s legal guardian and sign their DNR. It also involves numerous legalities that you should not face alone. Let Ledwidge and Associates help you with your guardianship needs. With our years of experience, we can guide you and answer all the questions you might have.

So, if you are looking for an probate attorney Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere in New York, get in touch with us today!

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DNR and Guardianship: Who Can Sign One and When

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.
DNR and Guardianship: Who Can Sign One and When

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