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Tracey v. Cambridge Hospital – Duty to Consult ALREADY the Law in USA

The recent UK Appellate judgment in Tracey v. Cambridge University Hospital establishes a duty on the part of clinicians to consult with patients or surrogates before writing a DNR order.  Notably, British physicians have a duty to consult even though they do not ultimately need patient or surrogate consent to write a DNR order.  

I am pleased to observe that this rule has already long been settled law in the United States.  Both where clinicians have the right to write a DNR order without consent (e.g. Texas; California) and where such a right is unclear (Pennsylvania), clinicians must always do so openly and transparently.  Otherwise, they risk statutory fines and/or tort liability for negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress.    

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