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Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)


Updated March 07, 2008

Definition: A Do Not Resusitate, or a DNR, is a physician's order not to attempt CPR (cardiopulmonary resusitation) if a patient's heart or breathing stops. The order is written at the request of the patient or family but it must be signed by a physician to be valid.

If a patient is at home or other out-of-hospital setting, paramedics must start resuscitation measures if they are called to a scene of an unconscious person unless they are shown a valid DNR order. Patients are usually instructed to keep the form on their refrigerator or taped to the wall above their bed if they are at home.

Also Known As: Out-of-Hospital DNR
Common Misspellings: Do Not Resusitate Order
Because Jim had been diagnosed with an incurable disease, he decided he didn't want to be resuscitated if he died at home and signed a DNR form.

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