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Posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:55 AM

In 2014, Kate Masters’ family won an important appellate judgment on behalf of her mother Janet Tracey, holding that UK physicians may not write DNR orders without first discussing them with the patient or family.


Now, Ms. Masters wants to enforce compliance with that 2014 judgment. She has called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to ensure that patients’ human rights were protected by reminding NHS trusts that blanket DNRs were unlawful.


Masters asks for an “emergency direction” requiring that DNRs cannot and must not be imposed unless:

  1. The patient and/or their family/carers have been informed that it is appropriate to consider CPR and why
  2. The patient and/or their family/carers are provided with an opportunity to discuss their views and wishes regarding receiving CPR with the healthcare professional making the decision
  3. The patient and/or their family/carers are provided with clear information as to how the healthcare professional will take into account their views/wishes, the relevance of clinical judgment regarding efficacy of CPR (including being clear consent is not required) and how resource constraints are taken into account.
  4. The patient and/or their family/carers are informed of the CPR decision and the reasons why (which must be individual to the patient)
  5. The patient and/or their family/carers are informed they can request a second opinion if they disagree with the decision.

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