What is a DNR?
A DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) is an Order by the patient’s physician stating that in the event the patient has a cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is to be withheld, thereby allowing the patient to die a natural death. A DNR Order cannot be entered unless the patient has requested it (or the patient’s Healthcare Surrogate). Patients who do not have a DNR are called “Full Code”, meaning that in the event of a heart attack, all measures are to be taken in an effort to save the patient’s life. Many times, when a resident is first admitted to a nursing home, or when a patient is admitted to a hospital, the family is asked whether he or she has a DNR, and if not, whether you want to sign one. Or you may be asked later on if you want to sign a DNR when your loved one has taken a turn for the worse. You should never feel pressured to sign a DNR; if you are unsure, just say no. You are not required to give a reason for your decision, nor should you.
What are residents’ rights?
These are rights guaranteed by Florida law to every nursing home resident, the violation of which can form the basis of a lawsuit against the nursing home. Probably the three most often cited residents’ rights in nursing home litigation are (1) the right to receive adequate and appropriate health care; (2) the right to be free from mental and physical abuse; and (3) the right to be treated courteously, fairly, and with the fullest measure of dignity. Other residents’ rights include the right to private visits; the right to manage one’s own financial affairs; the right to privacy in treatment; the right to be informed of one’s medical condition and proposed treatment; and the right to select a personal physician.
Do I have to sign in each time I visit?
No, and you shouldn’t. If you sign in every time you visit, the sign-in sheets may show a pattern, which allows the staff to predict when you will be visiting and they can prepare accordingly. More importantly, if you decide to sue the nursing home, the nursing home lawyer will want to know how often you visited your loved one at the nursing home. If you say weekly and you happen to have missed a week here and a week there, you can be sure the nursing home’s lawyer will have the sign-in sheets to prove you a liar. So don’t sign in every time you visit; there’s no law that requires you to do so.
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