Doctors have legal duty to consult patients over DNR orders

Doctors have legal duty to consult patients over DNR orders

CategoryNews Author Fenella Morris KC, Vikram Sachdeva KC, Victoria Butler-Cole KC Date

The Court of Appeal has today ruled that doctors have a legal duty to involve patients in decisions about Do Not Attempt CPR notices.

Three members of chambers appeared in the landmark case of Tracey, R (on the application of) v Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Ors [2014] EWCA Civ 822: Vikram Sachdeva appeared for the  Secretary of State for Health (2nd Respondent) and Fenella Morris QC and Victoria Butler-Cole were instructed by the Resuscitation Council (UK) (2nd Intervener). The claim by Mrs Tracey’s family against the Secretary of State for Health was dismissed.

The court held that there was a presumption in favour of involving patients in decision-making in the context of DNACPR notices, but recognised that there would be cases in which it was not appropriate to discuss the decision with patients, and cases in which the patient’s rights would only extend to being informed of the doctors’ decision.

To read the full judgment please follow this link.

This case has been widely reported in the press. To read more please follow the links below.

The Telegraph



The Guardian

The Times (behind paywall)

The Daily Mail

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