It is such a landmark judgement, I thought I would share with you Compassion in Dying’s press release following today’s judgment from the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal has today ruled that doctors acted unlawfully in the case of Janet Tracey, by placing a ‘Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation’ (DNACPR) order on her records without consulting her or her family.   The judgement states that the duty to consult patients should involve a discussion about the patient’s wishes and feelings, and that this is best undertaken at the earliest stages of the clinical relationship so that decisions can be reviewed as a patient’s circumstances change.

Full details on the judgement can be found here.

At the heart of Compassion in Dying’s work is patient choice, and we welcome patients’ views being heard and respected in relation to decisions on end-of-life care and treatment.  Our Chief Executive, Sarah Wootton has today highlighted in our Press Release 

“Communication is paramount, and doctors must raise these issues with competent patients and their families where appropriate, even if these conversations are distressing and difficult for doctors to introduce.”

“Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) orders are sometimes considered in the best interests of patients facing the end of their lives who lack capacity or who may not be able to give their views due to the nature of their illness.  In these instances it is very helpful if the patient has made their wishes known in advance in an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment, or via a Lasting Power of Attorney so that the doctors have access to clear information about the patient’s wishes to inform their decision-making.”

And this is just one of the reasons why I feel that our work through the Information Line is so important, and why I was delighted we were successful in our Big Lottery Fund application to launch My Life, My Decision across England.

Communication is key, and through both our Information Line and My Life, My Decision we are encourage people to talk to their friends, families and health care teams as well as providing advice and support for adults wishing to discuss and complete their own Advance Decision and/or Lasting Power of Attorney.

If you would like to join the My Life, My Decision team there are a range of roles available, for more information click here.  You can also contact me directly via our Contact Us page.

If you would like to find out more on Advance Decisions and/or Lasting Power of Attorney’s then do call us on 0800 999 2434 or click here.