Aspects and regulations of signing a DNR

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OneNotary Team

January 18, 2023

Do not resuscitate (DNR) orders are meant to inform medical personnel that the patient does not wish to be revived in the event of sudden heart failure or loss of breathing. Signing a DNR order should be done by a doctor at the patient’s request. A DNR is typically seen as a dignified way out of the world by the terminally sick. When entering a healthcare institution such as a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, it is common practice to discuss the specifics of a DNR.

The Meaning of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)


The acronym “DNR” stands for “Do Not Resuscitate,” which is the option taken in advance by medical personnel not to do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a patient who is not breathing or who has stopped their heart. Whenever a person has respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, to use medical jargon. In reality, resuscitation is not a straightforward process and even has its own risks. Resuscitation methods include the following:

  • Tracheotomy.
  • Contraction of the chest muscles.
  • Defibrillate techniques.
  • Medication given intravenously.

DNR signs mean that none of above-mentioned measures will be used to revive a patient who is experiencing cardiac or respiratory arrest.

How long does a Do-Not-Resuscitate order last?

sign dnr

Sign a DNR order may or may not be honored by ambulance personnel depending on the laws in each individual state. Some states require that DNR orders be put on standardized forms, and these orders will not be respected if they are not. Some states are less stringent than others, and they will respect any legally binding DNR.

Patients’ wishes regarding DNR sign should be evaluated often, especially if their health or preferences change. Discuss with your physicians how frequently they recommend a checkup be performed based on your specific situation. Conditions and local regulations determine whether a DNR order remains in effect after a hospital stay. Seeing a doctor about this is a must.

DNR order requirements

All DNR orders must adhere to the same basic guidelines in order to be legally binding, regardless of the medium or setting in which they are issued. The key demands are:

  • Who can sign a DNR? A DNR cannot be signed by just anybody; there are certain legal standards that must be met in each state for a paper to be recognized. Most states need both the patient and the treating physician to sign a DNR. A DNR may be signed by the patient’s legal healthcare representative if the patient is unable to do so. The DNR must be witnessed by two legal adults or notarized in certain jurisdictions.
  • Does a DNR have to be signed by a doctor? Yes, the paper must carry a doctor’s signature. If a nurse took an order over the phone, the doctor must typically check and sign it in person within a certain amount of time, which varies by state.
  • Instead of just saying it, have a doctor write it down. There are certain exceptional cases, such as when an EMS doctor radios a resuscitation order to an ambulance crew or when an RN takes a phone order from an attending doctor. In most cases, these deviations are covered by protections that ensure the order is ultimately confirmed.
  • How to sign a DNR? It should always contain the date and the patient’s name. There may be a time limit on orders or a deadline for the doctor to follow up, depending on the jurisdiction. Even if a DNR order does not expire, a particularly long time after it was issued may cause a caregiver to reconsider sign DNR.

However, bear in mind that while a Do-Not-Resuscitate order does cover CPR, it does not cover issues like pain medicine or feeding.

Should a Do-Not-Resuscitate form be notarized?

do not resuscitate

Notarization is optional, but often preferred, when it comes to DNR paperwork. To certify that you were of sound mind while signing the order, two adults must be present when you did so. If you would rather have only one witness sign your DNR Form instead of two, a notary may do it for you. Again, signing a DNR form’s legal criteria for validity may differ depending on the state in which it is filed and, in certain cases, the specific form that is filed. Please research your state’s regulations to ensure compliance.

If you require DNR signs and online notarization, you should consider utilizing OneNotary since it is a reliable virtual service. You might potentially save time and money by using a virtual notary instead of a physical one. You won’t fall behind on OneNotary right away, even if this is your very first time using such an online platform, so don’t worry about it. It only employs highly qualified individuals for the role of the notary public, streamlines communication between clients and notaries, and has an intuitively laid-out website loaded with cutting-edge tools. Trust your DNR sign and paperwork to seasoned professionals.