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CPR decisions and DNAR forms

This factsheet explains what cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is, CPR success rates, how to refuse CPR, what a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) form is, how to get a DNAR form, and how a DNAR differs from an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment.

DNAR forms and CPR decisions

A DNAR (do not attempt resuscitation) form is a document issued and signed by a doctor, telling your medical team not to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Common questions about DNAR forms and CPR

Can I refuse CPR if I don’t have an ongoing condition? You have the right to choose not to have CPR if you wish. If you don’t have an ongoing health condition and you choose not to have CPR, then you should write this refusal within a legally binding Advance Decision (Living Will). Compassion in

How are DNAR forms issued?

If you have a long-term condition or a terminal illness, then someone from your healthcare team should talk to you about what you can expect and what your treatment options are. If it’s likely that you’ll have a cardiopulmonary arrest, then planning what will happen if that situation arises, should form part of your conversation. 

Medical treatment and patient’s rights – recent legal cases

You might have seen recent news coverage of some important cases about medical treatment and patient’s rights. We’ve summarised four of the key ones below, which concerned three areas of law. Withdrawal of Treatment In a landmark case in November the Court of Protection (which makes decisions on behalf of people who lack capacity) allowed

Compassion in Dying responds to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman’s (SPSO) report on failure to discuss DNACPR decision with family of patient

Lloyd Riley, Deputy Director of Policy & Research at Compassion in Dying, said:   “We offer our sincere condolences to the family concerned in the SPSO’s recent report. We welcome the SPSO’s recommendations, which rightly stress the importance of following proper procedures for discussing and documenting DNACPR decisions [also known as DNR or DNAR]. “CPR

Compassion in Dying backs DNACPR legal challenge to Health Secretary

End-of-life charity has received hundreds of calls relating to CPR and DNACPR Key concern is patients feeling ignored or abandoned by healthcare professionals for wanting to refuse CPR; worried that they will be resuscitated against their wishes Compassion in Dying today (29 May 2020) announces its support for Kate Masters’ legal challenge to the Secretary