Frequently Asked Questions

Will my Advance Directive be followed in an emergency if I cannot make my wishes known?

Usually emergency medical personnel such as rescue squads or ambulance teams cannot follow your wishes in an Advance Directive if they are called to help you in an emergency. Also, hospital emergency room providers may not know your wishes in an emergency. But if you have a terminal or serious condition, under certain circumstances you can make decisions in advance about refusing one type of emergency medical care - resuscitation if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing.
You do this by having your doctor complete a "DO NOT RESUSCITATE ORDER" (often called a "DNR" order) for you on a form approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Your doctor also may write a DNR order to be followed in a hospital or nursing home. This order is valid unless you revoke it - that is, you change your mind and tell your doctor that you want to be resuscitated.