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DNAR forms and CPR decisions

DNAR stands for Do Not Attempt Resuscitation. The DNAR form is also called a DNAR order, or DNACPR order. The information in this section applies to people living in England and Wales.

What is a DNAR form?

A Do Not Attempt Resuscitation form is a document issued and signed by a doctor, which tells your medical team not to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The form is designed to be easily recognised and verifiable, allowing healthcare professionals to make decisions quickly about how to treat you.

It’s not a legally binding document. Instead, it helps you to communicate to the healthcare professionals involved in your care that CPR shouldn’t be attempted. These forms exist because without one your healthcare team will always attempt CPR.

The form only covers CPR, so if you have a DNAR form you’ll still be given all other types of treatment for your condition as well as treatment to ensure you’re comfortable and pain-free.

If you decide to have one, it’s a good idea to also make an Advance Decision (Living Will) refusing CPR. This will mean that your wishes are more likely to be followed if you lack capacity to make decisions.

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