Thursday, April 21, 2011

End-of-life planning eases suffering - CNN.com

End-of-life planning eases suffering - CNN.com

I'd thought, as an attorney, that legal documents would never scare me. But, this was no ordinary piece of paper. This was Daddy's DNR order.

A DNR, or do not resuscitate order, is a legal document that ensures that resuscitation efforts will not be attempted if someone suffers a cardiac or respiratory arrest. End-of-life, or advance care planning, is a subject that far too many families avoid discussing until it's too late.

My father's cancer battle culminated last July when he spent the last week of his life in the hospital. That time by my father's side was the hardest week of my life, but my mother and I were "lucky." Lucky, because we knew what my father's wishes were at the end of his life and we had a legal document in place that reflected his wishes.

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