'Do Not Resuscitate Orders' Are Being Imposed Without Consent

Audit Reveals Families Were Not Told That CPR Would Not Be Attempted On Loved Ones

04.05.2016

Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Thousands of patients are having ‘do not resuscitate’ orders imposed on them without their families consent after hospitals fail to inform them.

According to the Royal College of Physicians, hospitals are failing to tell family members that they are not intending to attempt potentially lifesaving techniques on their patients such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

An audit of 9,000 dying patients found that one in five families were not informed of the plans. The college also estimated that 200,000 patients each year were issued with the order for health workers not to attempt CPR, and found that in 16% of cases, there was no record of a conversation with the patient about the order.

Anne-Marie Irwin, public law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“It is astonishing that hospitals would undergo such an important decision over life or death without consulting the patient or their family members.

“Sadly, we see many cases where consultation simply does not happen, and a patient’s right to life is not respected. There should always be a consultation process except for in clearly defined circumstances such as when the clinician believes the process would cause harm to the patient.

“Patients and their families should be at the heart of the decision making process when it comes to life and death decisions such as this.”
Anne-Marie Irwin, Associate