Coronavirus: Estate attorneys warn DNRs could prevent treatment for COVID-19

DAYTON — As the coronavirus pandemic continues, estate attorneys say a Do Not Resuscitate order, or a DNR, could prevent COVID-19 patients getting life-saving treatment like ventilators or being intubated.

Ted Gudorf, managing attorney of Gudorf Law Group, says people need to first designate a health care power of attorney, someone you trust to make medical decisions for you.

“If you get COVID 19, I think most of us would want CPR, most of us would want to be intubated, most of us would want to be put on a ventilator, and given extraordinary measures to keep us from dying,” said Gudorf.

After that, you need to talk about your wishes and what you do not want, and it needs to be clearly stated in writing in your living will.

If you or a loved one have signed a Do Not Resuscitate, a DNR, order, this will prevent them from being resuscitated, put on a ventilator or intubated, all commonly used in the treatment of COVID-19.

“That DNR order, we are usually thinking about when we are 95-years-old, we have lived a great life, and we are either terminal or a permanently unconscious,” explained Gudorf. “We are thinking about that, we are not thinking about being 45-years-old and coming down with COVID-19.”

“Who do you trust to make the decisions? Do you want the doctor to make them all or do you want a family member involved?” asked managing attorney Ted Gudorf.

Gudorf says now is the time to put your plans in place, before there’s a chance you or a loved one are hospitalized and cannot make their own medical decisions.

“So probably 70 percent of the country does not have any of these documents at all,” explained Gudorf. “The biggest problem we have out here is that nobody has a health care power of attorney and nobody has a living will.”

You can find all these documents online for free but if you want to add special instructions, Gudorf recommends going to see an attorney for help.