Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters “Do not resuscitate” decisions

Full cardiopulmonary resuscitation should not be used for ordinary dying

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 14 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3769
  1. Gordon Caldwell, consultant physician and clinical tutor1
  1. 1Worthing Hospital, Worthing BN11 2DH, UK
  1. gordon.caldwell{at}

The Analysis article on when and how to discuss “do not resuscitate” decisions with patients evades discussing the difference between ordinary dying and dying from cardiac arrest and attempted full cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).1

In ordinary dying the vital organs fail and the heart is the last vital organ to stop. In cardiac arrest the heart is the first vital organ to …

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