Do Not Resuscitate ignored

A 64-year-old grandfather’s wishes were ignored, causing him to die in agony as a hospital tried to revive him.

Arthur Johnson had countersigned ‘do not attempt resuscitation’ forms instructing medical staff not to revive him if his heart should stop. But when he was rushed to hospital, relatives were aghast at finding a crash team fighting to keep him alive. His family have lodged a complaint against the University Hospital of North Staffordshire over his death. The hospital may find itself facing legal action as a result.

Mr Johnson had decided he against invasive medical treatment earlier in the year after being told his chest and heart conditions were terminal. He wrote farewell letters to his family in Stoke-on-Trent, anticipating a peaceful death.

‘He spent his last three hours in great pain,’ said his daughter, Mrs Craggs. ‘He was choking and when I tried to give him a hug he cried out in agony. Why the DNR form wasn’t passed to the doctors on his last day is a mystery. If they had carried out his request, I’m sure he would not have suffered.’

Some parts of the country – including London – now have databases formally recording terminally-ill patients’ wishes about whether they would want to be resuscitated.

Exit blog posts with resources:
CPR – I might want it now but I don’t want it later (principles & guidelines)

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