Senate passes legislation to ensure schools respect do-not-resuscitate orders

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Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sens. Rebekah Warren, D–Ann Arbor, and Rick Jones, R–Grand Ledge, on Tuesday announced the passage of three bills that give parents, guardians and schools guidance on do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders for minor children diagnosed with an advanced illness.

Senate Bill 784 amends the Michigan DNR Procedure Act to clarify the steps parents must follow to execute a DNR order on behalf of their child and the responsibility of the school district to honor their request. Until now, uncertainty and differing policies across districts about how to handle DNR orders for students have led to confusion and costly legal battles.

“Those who face this heartbreaking decision should have the assurance that educators will be allowed to respect the plan of care that their family and medical team have developed, no matter what school their child attends,” Warren said.

The three-bill package includes Senate Bills 827 and 786. SB 827 ensures all school staff who need to know about the DNR order are notified and provides legal protection for personnel who follow the order. SB 786 gives legal guardians the same rights as parents regarding whether a DNR order is appropriate for a child in their care.

“No parent or guardian should have to endure a costly legal battle to preserve their family’s wishes and the dignity of their child,” Jones said. “This legislative package helps schools know how to work with families and give them peace of mind.”

The bills require parents and guardians to provide a copy of the DNR order to the administrator of the school or facility where the child is a student, patient or resident. They also create a procedure to challenge and revoke a DNR order through the probate court system, should the family’s wishes change.