Intended for healthcare professionals

Medicopolitical Digest

The BMA's annual representative meeting

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 08 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:116

Editorial p 61, News p 69

“Do not resuscitate” orders need more explanation

“Resuscitation is often a messy business and bears little resemblance to what is portrayed in medical television programmes,” Dr Jonathan Fielden (West Berkshire) told the meeting.

He was speaking in favour of a motion, which was carried, calling for the BMA to initiate a public awareness campaign about what resuscitation involved. Dr Fielden pointed out that the survival rate after resuscitation was 10-15% outside hospital and 15-30% inside hospital. Patients who survived had a 50% chance of surviving for 36 months. The ideal would be to move away from cardiac arrest teams to medical emergency teams to treat people before they had a cardiac arrest.

The five part motion also declared that junior doctors should not have to make “do not resuscitate” orders without senior support; that junior doctors should not be coerced or cajoled into making such orders; and that the BMA's medical ethics committee should be instructed to explore extending the current BMA policy to include compulsory written consent. Dr Fielden thought that the suggestion that the admitting team should be responsible for making all resuscitation decisions was impractical, and this section was carried as a reference.

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BMA calls for resignation of college president

The BMA has called for the resignation of the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) by 111 votes to 84 because of the suggestion from the college that there should be a new specialist grade to deal with the excess of trainees in the specialty.

The proposal, which does not have the support of the whole college or of the trainees, is for a specialist grade for doctors who had completed their certificate of completion of specialist training. The junior doctors conference passed a similar motion last month (17 June, p 1675).

Proposing a composite motion, Miss Fiona Kew, …

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