Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Cautionary tales about DNACPR

Futile CPR is tantamount to assault

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 10 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i602
  1. Richard Venn, consultant in intensive care
  1. Worthing Hospital, Worthing BN11 2DH, UK
  1. rvenn{at}

Regardless of the law,1 it is best medical practice to involve patients and relatives in all important medical decisions where “practicable and appropriate.”

However despite the High Court ruling in the case of Carl Winspear, I do not think it is best medical practice or “appropriate” to disturb relatives at 3 am to have a telephone conversation about DNACPR (“Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation”) …

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