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California health care directives: DNH

Many people have heard of a do not resuscitate order. It is one of many health care directives available to California residents who want to have a say in how they die and what, if any, medical interventions are to be utilize to prolong life. Few, however, have heard of a DNH order.

Not everyone wants to live out what is left of their lives in a hospital bed, being subjected to medical tests and invasive procedures. There are those who would rather spend their final days at home or somewhere more comfortable to them. Unfortunately, many end up in the hospital because their family members do not know what else to do and insurance will pay for it, or at least part of it.

Those who do not wish to end up in a hospital may sign a DNH order, which stands for do not hospitalize. If signed, it simply means that one does not want to go to a hospital to die. It does not mean that he or she does not want medical intervention to prevent suffering. Those who wish to receive some level of care may set that up through a hospice or other available service.

Not many people have DNH orders. Those who do not are two times more likely to reside in a hospital room for their last days. For some, the hospital is the best place to be, but for others it really is not necessary. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist California residents with obtaining the health care directives that will serve them best in their final days.

Source:, " Want Control Over Your Death? Consider A 'Do Not Hospitalize' Order ", Ann Brenoff, July 14, 2017

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