In the last blog, we discussed why you would want to draft an OOH-DNR or Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order as part of your estate planning documents. Now, we will cover what is necessary to create a valid order. First, you must be at least 18 years old to create a valid OOH-DNR Order and be mentally competent, which requires you to be of sound mind when signing and creating the document. At the very least, you should be able to understand that what you are signing and its implications. You must sign the first part of the form or Section A. If you are unable to physically sign your document, you will need to have someone else sign it for you and date it in Sections B or C. If you are too ill to create a DNR, your legal guardian, Medical Power of Attorney, physician with a Directive to Physician power or close relative can provide consent on your behalf ordering an emergency staff member to withhold treatment or do not resuscitate.
In limited situations, Texas law allows minors who are under 18 years old to create valid DNR Orders. You may create a DNR Order if you are under 18 if your parents sign your order. Alternatively, a legal guardian or managing conservator can sign and date Section E of the OOH-DNR Order. A minor’s DNR-OOH Order is valid only if a physician diagnoses him with having a terminal illness or untreatable and irreversible medical condition.