Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders

A Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order is an instruction, issued for a specific person, by a physician providing treatment for that person. A Health Care Proxy and Living Will are completed by the individual and witnessed by others. A DNR advises that the person does not want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event that his/her heart stops beating or he/she stops breathing. A DNR order instructs health care facilities, their staff, and emergency medical personnel (including ambulance personnel) not to initiate CPR. Hospitals and nursing homes have their own forms which need to be completed in order to enact a DNR.

Individuals residing in the community may have a non-hospital do-not-resuscitate order issued. This form is intended for patients not presently in a hospital.

Organ Donor Designation

Organ donor designation is a type of advance directive as it allows you to make a decision about something that you wish to occur upon your death.

Which organs can be donated?

The ability to donate organs depends upon your age, medical condition and circumstances at the time of death. Organs are evaluated on an individual basis. Organs that may be allowed to be donated include your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and intestines.

Which tissues can be donated?

  • Whole eyes or corneas may be donated to provide the gift of sight.
  • Hearts may be donated for human heart valves.
  • Cardiovascular tissue (which includes the thoracic aorta, the abdominal aorta with iliac arteries, saphenous veins and femoral arteries) may be donated to restore compromised blood circulation.
  • Bone and soft musculoskeletal tissue, such as ligaments, may be donated for orthopedic and spinal surgeries, and sports medicine injuries.
  • Skin may be donated to promote healing and prevent infection in critically burned individuals.

To learn more about organ donation, visit

An Organ Donor Designation allows you to document your wishes regarding donating your organs after your death. Even if you have indicated that you would like to be an organ donor, your family or health care proxy/agent must give their permission in order for the donation to take place. To download a form that will notify your family of your desire to be an organ donor, complete a Family Notification Form.

In NYS, you can make your wishes to donate your organs known on the Health Care Proxy Form and/or on the back of your New York State driver’s license.

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