One of the complex decisions that you'll need to make when you speak with your family and then later sit down with an attorney to write up your living will is whether or not you want a "do not resuscitate" order, or DNR. This term means that in the event that you suffer a catastrophic health issue at the hospital and the medical team would need to resuscitate you to keep you alive, you'd prefer if you were left to pass away. Here are some pros and cons of a DNR to evaluate before you make your decision for your living will.
Pro: It Prevents Living With No Quality Of Life
Although the heroic efforts of the hospital's medical staff may be able to save your life when you require resuscitation, it's possible that you may have diminished quality of life afterward. For example, instead of you just passing away, you could be kept alive and then require a ventilator for breathing. Or, you might require such heavy dosages of medication that you're essentially sleeping around the clock. When you specify that you want a DNR, you'll avoid this anguish.
Con: It's Difficult To Present To Your Family
When you inform your family members that you'll be specifying that you want a DNR when you write your living will, there's a strong probability that at least some of them will object to your idea. Many family members struggle with the idea of a loved one passing away, and view someone's request of a DNR as a sign of giving up on life. It may be difficult and upsetting for you to convince your family that this is your wish.
Pro: It Can Be Better For Your Family
Although many family members will struggle with accepting your decision regarding a DNR, they may eventually appreciate this decision. For example, if you're living in the hospital with little to no quality of life, it's difficult for your family to see you this way. Additionally, there are logistical challenges — for example, family members may struggle with the idea of taking time off work to visit you when you aren't aware of their presence at all. When you request that you don't want to be resuscitated, you'll prevent these challenges for those you love.
Con: You May Have Doubt
A lot of doubt can be present in your mind when you opt for a DNR. For example, because making this choice can make you feel one step closer to death, you'll often wonder if it's a choice that is in your best interest. You may also wonder if your doctors could save you and allow you to make a full recovery, rather than continue living with a diminished quality of life.
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