Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order

A DNR order tells the health care facility or doctor not to revive a patient whose heart or breathing has stopped. That generally means no CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which involves shocks and chest compressions). A DNR order requires the signature of the patient or their health care agent/proxy. Sometimes a DNR order also includes DNI, which means do not intubate (put on ventilator/breathing machine). A third designation, which is relatively new, is do not escalate (DNE). When a doctor orders DNE for a patient, it means that no further aggressive medical care should be initiated. That might mean a variety of things and should be further clarified with the medical team and the patient and their family.RelevanceIt is important to understand the meaning of DNR, DNI, and DNE to get the right medical care and not excessive medical care.  Your wishes or your loved one’s wishes about CPR, ventilator support, and other measures should be revisited frequently, especially in a serious illness, and should be readily available when engaging with the health care system. These are good decisions to make in conjunction with your physician.

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