Doctors should consult patients before imposing non-resuscitation notices unless it would cause harm, Court of Appeal rules

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 17 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4094
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

An NHS trust breached a patient’s human rights when doctors placed a “do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation” (DNACPR) notice on her records without her knowledge, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust violated Janet Tracey’s right to respect for her private life in not discussing the decision with her, declared three senior judges headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson.

“A DNACPR decision is one which will potentially deprive the patient of lifesaving treatment,” said Dyson. “There need to be convincing reasons not to involve the patient.”

Tracey had had terminal lung cancer diagnosed two weeks before she …

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