Mythbusting: nurse(?) makes mistake over ‘Do Not Resuscitate’

Ventilator: people with long-term illnesses, disabilities and learning disabilities are still being denied resuscitation by the NHS – and one nurse, at least, has denied the existence of this scandal.

I can’t let this pass.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on June 16, Peterborough’s Tory MP Paul Bristow asked an important question about “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) orders that have been made on NHS patients during the Covid-19 crisis.

Having reported on this scandal many times on This Site, I tweeted in response:

I was surprised and saddened when this provoked the following response from a Twitter user who identifies as a nurse (I won’t reproduce the tweet here because I do not wish to identify that person):

“Are you a healthcare professional?

“No.

“Then do not spread false theories about something you obviously know nothing about.”

I attempted to put my critic straight – as politely as possible, in the circumstances:

“I am a news reporter of nearly 30 years experience and have been covering this story from the start. I DO know the facts here. And I see that, since you provide no information to support your insult, you probably don’t. Go well.”

Sadly, this person would not take the (rather overt) hint and came back at me:

You have confirmed it.

It is a story.

I do not have the time, inclination or room on twitter to “provide you with information” only to say that I have 30 years experience as a nurse and have a postgraduate qualification in Professional Practice

Then this is a person who ought to have known better. The claim, “It is a story,” was an attempt to downplay the DNR deaths as fiction, and I wasn’t having that. Also the refusal to support a claim with factual information is a classic tactic by trolls who don’t have any facts to offer.

So I responded (again):

“And how does that better qualify you to comment on this? I’ve done the research so I know my facts. It isn’t fiction.”

And again this person came back at me:

Ok then would you attempt CPR on a five stone frail old woman? Am not going to carry on with this because I’m afraid you just don’t know what you’re on about

This is misleading, and a lie. Allow me to explain.

Mr Bristow’s question is available  to read in Hansard, here. He said: “Last year, doctors and care settings issued an unprecedented number of “do not resuscitate” orders to patients with learning disabilities and mental illness. Many were unlawful and caused avoidable deaths.

“Despite urgent Care Quality Commission and NHS guidance, shockingly, this practice has continued. Last week, The Telegraph reported that Sonia Deleon died unresuscitated. Her family said she was given a DNR without them knowing, and with her learning disabilities and schizophrenia stated as reasons.

“Does the Prime Minister share my alarm about these cases, which should have no place in our care, and does he agree that they should be independently investigated?”

I won’t bother to repeat Boris Johnson’s response as he made no undertaking to prevent further abuses of DNR orders.

It was clear that the issue here was not the safety of attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on a person who may suffer as much harm in that attempt as by the condition that had caused them to need reviving.

It was a political choice to deny health care to people dying with Covid-19, because they have learning (or other) disabilities. It seems to have been considered an opportunity to clear many thousands of so-called “useless eaters” from the UK’s benefit books.

Sonia Deleon’s story is a classic example; you can read about it here.

In brief, almost a year after it was revealed that a policy was in place to deny NHS Covid-19 care to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities – and NHS bosses then claimed to have warned hospitals, GPs and NHS managers not to make such orders on these people, Sonia Deleon was deliberately allowed to die because a DNR order on her had been made.

Hospital authorities claimed that it the order had been agreed with Ms Deleon’s family but they deny this strenuously.

Ms Deleon had learning disabilities and the circumstances of her death are not only a scandal in themselves but are a continuation of a national disgrace.

And I was criticised for highlighting this atrocity – by someone claiming to be a nurse.

I won’t take this matter further by seeking to identify the NHS trust for which this person works and requesting that they be reminded of the facts and properly disciplined for trying to mislead the public. I may change my mind if any further attempts at deception result from this article.

But I will take the opportunity to request that anybody who has relatives living with a long-term illness or disability, or a learning disability, should contact the NHS and ensure that orders equivalent to death sentences have not been applied to their loved ones without their knowledge.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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9 thoughts on “Mythbusting: nurse(?) makes mistake over ‘Do Not Resuscitate’

  1. Jeffrey Davies

    Read mo Stewarts book but am afraid it’s aktion t4 program all over again renewed by ourleadets nothing has changed useless eaters are we no help other than drugs no ops only will have that dnr overmy head yep it’s all down to monies while they thieve it we go without strangely the peasants are allowing them but wait until it’s their turn

  2. Jim

    Could you please clarify. Are you saying doctors and nurses colluded in issuingDNR notices and have remained silent on the matter?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I haven’t said anything on that aspect. You’ll just have to draw your own conclusions – as I see you have.

  3. The Toffee (597)

    You are quite correct Mike.

    This shower of rodents have killed the disabled with DNRs as well as making sure the elderly in care homes were ‘bumped off’ for one reason, and one only.

    …To reduce the welfare/social care bill.

    Aktion T4 rears its grotesque head again.

    Wake up, people.

    1. Jim

      As I asked Mr Sivier to clarify ,again I ask you to clarify.Are you saying nursing staff were complicit in issuing DNR notices ,on which the RCN has very clear guidelines,that did not follow those guidelines. If that is the case you are talking about extremely serious disciplinary matters which the NMC must investigate. If the notices were prepared as the result of undue pressure from hospital management that may well be a criminal matter.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Again: You have drawn that conclusion. I haven’t said anything about it, one way or the other.

        Let us know how you get on, when you make your inquiry to the NHS.

  4. mohandeer

    I am not surprised that this “nurse” has such hubris and a totally blase attitude to something he/she obviously is either ignorant of or deliberately misleading in it’s basis in fact. I personally, would prefer to be made aware of this “nurse” if she were employed in my own NHS Trust, so that I could request that she not be allowed to treat me. Unfortunately she is not the only medical professional who does not wish to avail themselves of the facts to hand, a sort of fingers in the ears and singing lalalala attitude and a presumption of superiority. It reminds me of people who say “I’ve been driving x number of years, so I know how to drive” the fact that they have been driving badly all those years is the only thing missing from their claim.

Comments are closed.