Do Not Resuscitate in Massachusetts

Often clients come to us and ask about Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNRs), otherwise known as Living Wills. What they entail is both simple and complex wherein it is in essence a legal document that empowers someone to make the decision to take you off life support. It can be as complex as a client wishes, however, with as many caveats and limitations as a person wants.

Massachusetts is one of only three states though that does not per se recognize DNRs which means that a doctor can actually over rule the representative listed in the DNR order. This is important as some clients want assurances they will be taken off life support if the DNR conditions are met and in this state that is a tough assurance to give. Other clients are reassured by this limitation, however, as it gives a medical professional final say over a decision to remove life support or vise versa.

DNRs are a very personal decision but however one may feel about the issue they are an important estate planning tool and should be discussed with an experienced attorney to make sure your wishes are known to your loved ones.

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