We doctors must learn from what went wrong with ‘do not resuscitate’ orders | Rachel Clarke

We doctors must learn from what went wrong with ‘do not resuscitate’ orders | Rachel Clarke

The Guardian

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Patients and their families were not consulted. The CQC inquiry shows that their trust should never be taken for granted

As patients, we literally surrender our bodies and minds into our doctors’ hands. We could not be more vulnerable. For a clinician to exploit this power in any way at all is monstrous, an affront to decency.

No one is suggesting that any of the medics who, since March last year, signed more than 500 “do not resuscitate” (more accurately, “do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation”) forms without first discussing the matter with the patients or their families had any intention of shortening life. But when you possess the power to save, prolong, shorten or end life – as all doctors, in theory, do – then it is essential for your integrity and professionalism to measure up to your patients’ faith in you. Your motives and values should be irreproachable.

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