Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters “Do not resuscitate” decisions

Authors’ reply to Caldwell

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 14 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3784
  1. Zac Etheridge, specialist registrar in geriatric medicine1,
  2. Emma Gatland, barrister2
  1. 1Medicine for Older People, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury HP21 8AL, UK
  2. 2Harcourt Chambers, London, UK
  1. zac.etheridge{at}

In the Tracey case, no distinction is made regarding the mode of dying. Mrs Tracey had advanced lung cancer, a cervical spine injury, and pneumonia.1 2 Testimony given by David Pilcher, chairman of Research Councils UK, states that the chance of successful resuscitation in such a case is extremely low. As far as has been reported, Mrs Tracey had no cardiac problems; she was therefore likely to die of what Caldwell describes as …

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