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DNR 101 (Do Not Resuscitate)

We recently hosted an introductory workshop on DNR orders. We had our lead nurse practitioner lead the talk. If you missed it, feel free to watch the recording of the workshop below. You can also view the slide deck that was prepared.


In healthcare, one term that often surfaces in discussions about end-of-life care is "Do Not Resuscitate" or DNR. It's a significant decision, yet its nuances and implications might not always be clear. So, let's delve into the basics of DNR in the Canadian context.


What is a DNR Order?

A DNR order is a medical directive that instructs healthcare providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case a patient's heart stops beating or they stop breathing. It's typically issued when a patient faces a terminal illness or a condition where CPR would be futile or against their wishes.


Who Can Decide on a DNR Order?

In Canada, the decision to implement a DNR order involves the patient, their family, and healthcare providers. Patients must discuss their end-of-life preferences with their healthcare team and loved ones. While the final decision rests with the patient, healthcare providers offer guidance based on medical expertise and ethical considerations.


How is a DNR Order Implemented?

Once a patient expresses their desire for a DNR order, it's documented in their medical records. This ensures that healthcare providers know the patient's wishes, especially during emergencies. Bracelets or other identifiers may also be used to alert healthcare professionals about the DNR status.


Considerations and Discussions

Implementing a DNR order prompts discussions about the patient's values, goals of care, and potential outcomes. It's not a decision to be made lightly and may require ongoing conversations between patients, families, and healthcare teams. Understanding the implications of a DNR order is crucial for everyone involved.


Respecting Patient Autonomy

In Canada, respecting patient autonomy is paramount in healthcare decision-making. Patients have the right to make informed choices about their care, including whether or not to pursue life-saving measures like CPR. DNR orders uphold this principle by honouring the patient's wishes, even in critical situations.


Navigating end-of-life decisions can be emotionally challenging, but understanding the basics of a DNR order empowers individuals to make informed choices about their care. In Canada, DNR orders reflect a commitment to patient-centred care, ensuring that medical interventions align with the patient's values and preferences. Effective communication between patients, families, and healthcare providers is key to honouring these decisions with compassion and dignity.



DNR Community Presentation - Read-Only
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Download PPTX • 1.33MB


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