A do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order is a written order of a physician informing health care providers that no resuscitation efforts are to be made in the event the patient's heart or breathing stops. This type of order is sometimes called a no code order.
Traditionally, a DNR order was issued by the attending physician when he or she believed that resuscitating the patient would do nothing but delay death and prolong pain. A DNR order was typically just a notation in the patient's medical record or a simple form posted near the patient's bed. Some states have passed laws giving family members rights to make decisions about DNR orders.