Davina Hehir, Director of Legal Strategy and Policy at Compassion in Dying, said:

“We were saddened to read the story of Mrs Lillian Treacher, who had been living with cancer for several years when she was admitted to hospital in April 2014 and sadly died there a week later. Her family are now speaking out about the care she received, claiming that while Mrs Treacher was in hospital they discovered a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) order on her medical notes which had apparently been placed without it first being discussed with Mrs Treacher or her family.

“A DNAR form may be issued if an individual’s healthcare team feel that Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is unlikely to be successful. Doctors are now duty bound to speak to patients (and their families) before a DNAR form is put on a person’s medical records – guidance which appears not to have been followed in this instance.

“Compassion in Dying provides information and support to people wishing to plan ahead for their future care and treatment, and regularly receives enquiries about DNARs. It is of paramount importance that health and care professionals ensure that all medical decisions are properly explained to individuals in their care, so that they can work with patients and their families to make the choices that are right for them – particularly at the end of life. Anyone with questions or concerns can call Compassion in Dying free on 0800 999 2434, email info@compassionindying.org.uk or visit www.compassionindying.org.uk

***ENDS***

For further information or interview requests, please contact Ellie Ball, Media & Campaigns Officer, at ellie.ball@compassionindying.org.uk or 0207 479 7732

Notes to Editor:

Compassion in Dying is a national charity (no. 1120203) that aims to support people at the end of life to have what they consider to be a good death by providing information and support around their legal rights and choices. We also conduct and review research around patient rights and choices in end-of-life care.

Compassion in Dying provides free support for people to plan ahead for a time that they may lack capacity to make decisions about their treatment, including via a Freephone information line 0800 999 2434 and www.mydecisions.org.uk, a website the public can use for free to make a legally binding Advanced Decision or an Advance Statement.