A legal challenge has been launched against the government for failing to use their emergency powers to ensure patients and their families understand how decisions are made about Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.
The legal challenge is being brought by Kate Masters, daughter of the late David Tracey, who brought a successful judicial review in 2014 establishing a violation of his late wife’s Article 8 rights in relation to an imposed DNR order.
This case established that there is a legal duty to consult with and inform patients if a DNR order is placed on their records except in very narrow circumstances.
Kate decided to launch the legal challenge following numerous reports in the media of DNR notices being imposed in seemingly blanket ways, without consultation with patients or their families and showing a great amount of confusion within the general public over the need for consent.
She believes that decision making around DNRs has become opaque, inconsistent and deficient. In addition, she is greatly concerned about her own position due to her ongoing health problems and serious conditions affecting her family members and feels at significant risk of DNR decisions being made without proper process.
Read the full Welfare Weekly article here.