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Answers To FAQs About Florida Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNRO)


As you are contemplating your Florida estate plan and working out details for advance directives, it is important that you not overlook a key document: A Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNRO), which can be critical in end-of-life situations. In short, this document is a statement of your wishes if health care providers must decide whether to deliver certain types of care under designated circumstances. When you cannot make these decisions because of an illness or injury, the DNRO steps in.

From this brief description, you can probably see how a DNRO relates to a Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will. If you already executed these documents, it can be confusing to understand why additional paperwork is necessary. The key is realizing that a DNRO plays a slightly different role, and a Dade City advance directives lawyer can explain the details. Some answers to common questions about DNROs may also be helpful.

What does a DNRO do? The term resuscitate covers various approaches health care providers might use if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating, such as:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other forms of cardiac compression;
  • Electrical cardioversion, i.e., defibrillation or a shock to the heart;
  • Artificial ventilation or other breathing devices;
  • Endotracheal intubation; or
  • Other invasive procedures to revive you. 

The DNRO is an instruction to your physician, E.M.T.’s  and other health care providers to refrain from these treatments, regardless of whether the medical team thinks their efforts would save your life. Executing this type of advance directive is obviously a very personal choice.

How do I execute a DNRO? There is a statutory form for the DNRO, and you can prepare one as long as you still have the capacity to make health-related decisions.  However, there are other individuals who may be authorized to execute a DNRO on your behalf, such as:

  • The person you named as agent in a Florida’s Designation of a Health Care Surrogate;
  • Anyone appointed as your guardian by a Florida court;
  • An individual acting as your proxy; or
  • Someone you named in a durable power of attorney.

There is one important detail to note about printing out a DNRO: It must be on yellow-colored paper. The point of this requirement is to ensure it stands out to the medical professionals treating you.

Why should I consider a DNRO? Anyone with a terminal illness may want to learn more about DNROs, as well as someone with risk factors or a history of stroke, heart attack, or respiratory problems. Still, individuals who are younger and in ideal health should consider this advance directive when preparing other estate planning documents. This is especially true if you have strong personal feelings about artificial resuscitation, intubation, and related procedures.

A Pasco County Estate Planning Attorney Can Provide Specifics 

Having a DNRO in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you have expressed your intentions regarding resuscitation in an end-of-life situation. For assistance with preparing and executing advance directives, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane. You can schedule a consultation by calling our Dade City office at 352-567-0055 or visiting our website.



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