What Does DNR Mean

Learn what DNR means in medical terms and why it’s important to have this directive in place for end-of-life care decisions. Statistics show its relevance in healthcare settings.

Understanding DNR

DNR stands for Do Not Resuscitate, a medical order written by a doctor instructing healthcare providers not to perform CPR if a patient’s heart stops or they stop breathing. This decision is made in advance when a patient is unable to communicate their wishes during a medical emergency.

Legal Implications

DNR orders are legally binding documents that must be respected by healthcare providers. They are typically honored in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings.

Examples of DNR

  • An elderly patient with a terminal illness may choose to have a DNR order in place to avoid unnecessary medical interventions.
  • A young patient with a severe brain injury may have a DNR order if they do not wish to be kept alive artificially.

Case Studies

In a study conducted among terminally ill patients, over 80% expressed a desire to avoid CPR and other life-sustaining measures, highlighting the importance of DNR orders in end-of-life care.


According to recent statistics, around 90% of Americans have heard of DNR orders, but only 30% have one in place. It is crucial to discuss and document end-of-life wishes with loved ones and healthcare providers.

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