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Letters Futile treatments and dying patients

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be futile and sometimes worse in dying patients

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 15 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4584
  1. Caroline Mawer, general practitioner1
  1. 1London E1 1BB, UK
  1. caroline.mawer{at}

McCartney raises important points about the futility of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in some dying patients.1 The judges in the judgment she refers to emphasised the possibility of success after CPR, repeatedly referring to its potentially life saving nature.2

Although CPR is certainly a valuable intervention in many patients, a 2013 systematic review provides good evidence that cardiopulmonary resuscitation will be unsuccessful in palliative care patients …

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