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Requirements for Decision-making by an Adult with Capacity – N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 2964

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Adults with capacity may make consent to a do not resuscitate order (DNR) orally or in writing.  A patient in a hospital may give their oral consent to a DNR by expressing their wishes to two adult witnesses one of whom is a physician at the hospital. A patient may give their written consent to a DNR before or during their hospitalization by signing and dating a document in front of two adult witnesses that also sign the document. 


Attending physicians must document a patient’s DNR consent in the patient’s medical chart upon witnessing the patient’s oral consent or receiving a signed consent document. Physicians must then issue or object to the DNR order. A physician that objects to a DNR order must explain their object to the patient and attempt to transfer to patient to another physician. 


If a patient’s DNR refers to specific medical conditions, the attending physician must examine the patient to ensure that such conditions exist and document this exam in the patient’s medical chart. 

Current as of June 2015