Intended for healthcare professionals


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: who makes the decision?

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 25 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1677
  1. M E Hill,
  2. G MacQuillan,
  3. M Forsyth,
  4. D A Heath
  1. Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B15 2TH
  2. Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham B29 6JD
  3. University of Birmingham Medical School, Birmingham B15 2TT
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Heath.
  • Accepted 3 March 1994

Recent guidelines suggested that cardiopulmonary resuscitation should not be given (a) when a patient competent to give informed consent does not wish to have it, (b) when a patient is not competent to give consent and resuscitation is considered to be against his or her best interests, or (c) when resuscitation would probably not be successful.1 Attempts are made, however, to resuscitate patients with little prospect of recovery,*RF 2-4* and few doctors in Britain ascertain whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated.

We explored doctors' views on resuscitation and determined if it was possible to ask patients whether they would wish to be resuscitated.

Methods and results

A questionnaire was sent to 80 hospital doctors to establish who took …

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