Coronavirus – a small victory: NHS hospitals and GPs are warned against blanket ‘Do Not Revive’ policies

What some health workers wanted to prevent: a vulnerable elderly person using a ventilator while being treated for coronavirus.

This is a step in the right direction.

GP surgeries in south Wales and Brighton have both been reported to have issued letters telling multiple patients that their health conditions make them unlikely to be treated with a ventilator if they contract the coronavirus.

The letters advise that patients sign “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation” orders – in effect, their own death warrants.

But now, England’s chief nurse Ruth May and NHS England’s medical director Stephen Powis have told hospitals, GPs and NHS managers not to issue such letters.

This Site has already reported on a statement by the British Medical Association, Care Quality Commission and others, warning that blanket approaches are wrong.

And the Independent reports (see below) that legal advice shows such an approach would be unlawful.

The joint letter states: “The NHS constitution is clear that we should deliver care and support in a way that achieves dignity and compassion for each and every person we serve. We should be cognisant of the principle of equity of access for those who could benefit from treatment escalation, and the principle of support for autonomy for those who want to be involved in decisions.

“Even under pressure we strive for the delivery of personalised care and high standards of patient experience.”

So that’s that – we should hope.

Anybody who persists in foisting such alternative death warrants on vulnerable people should face the force of the law from now on.

Source: Coronavirus: England’s chief nurse and top doctor warn hospitals and GPs against imposing blanket do not resuscitate orders | The Independent

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4 thoughts on “Coronavirus – a small victory: NHS hospitals and GPs are warned against blanket ‘Do Not Revive’ policies

    1. hugosmum70

      Elizabeth, i think we all have, some more than others. my sister is one. daily phone calls to both me and my daughter(her own kids dont bother much with her) because she is petrified of both getting it and what that letter meant……. this will come as a relief to us all

  1. Dez

    I think the majority of the recipients of the 12 week stay isolated letters know the consequences of not heeding this grave warning ie when the going gets tough our survival will be judged against a more healthy patient having the access to limited kit and professionals. At this current moment elderly and vulnerable are surviving because there is some limited capacity but later on when the country services go into hyper drive I for one do not have any issues with standing back for those with a better chance of benefitting from what limited resources we have. Yes the Governments could have invested for this day, having carried out an expensive full risk management exercises for such an event, and knew exactly what was needed…..but hey we had to bail out those important bankers from the life style they had become established and so we had austerity for the many especially against the vulnerable as has been disclosed on this site on many occasions.

    1. hugosmum70

      Why should we be killed off to save the economy for this lot led by a buffoon who didn’t take it seriously when he should have as some of us did therefore making it a lot worse than it needed to be. i refuse to let them kill me off to save money that will go in their pockets not into the economy. they are scared of losing the cash in their bank accounts but have no other way to get whats needed to keep this country going after they’ve filched so much from the country n put it in their offshore accounts so they think killing off a few old people will bring in revenue cos they wont be paying pensions those people worked all their lives to get. they’ve got nowhere else to go lets face it. they’ve done everything to all others not in their elite groups,

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