People with disabilities given "DNRs" without their knowledge

Disabled people have been given "do not resuscitate orders" without their knowledge and consent. Speaking on their behalf, a Paralympic athlete called for further discussions to better understand the lives of people with disabilities.

WORLD FEBRUARY 9. 2021 15:35

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, there have been a number of cases in the United Kingdom when healthcare institutions gave people with disabilities or those living in care homes „do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders without their knowledge. People can only be given DNRs upon the express consent of patients or their relatives.  

A multiple-time Paralympic gold-medallist voiced her anger over the controversy. Baroness Grey-Thompson told the BBC that such orders shouldn t be happening and talks should take place between healthcare professionals and disability groups.

Tanni Grey-Thompson also said that more discussions are needed to better understand the lives of disabled people. Along with that, people need to „move on from thinking that they, we have nothing to contribute.” According to the Paralympian, there should not be a blanket DNR purely because of someone s level of impairment.

Reports from disability organisations also reveal that people with learning difficulties were classified DNR last year, during the pandemic. The organisation Turning Point is aware of 19 such cases, with ten member organisations of Learning Disability England also reporting similar incidents.

A man with visual impairment and severe learning disabilities said he had also received a DNR notice in the hospital where he was, mistakenly, treated with coronavirus.

Care Quality Commission s investigation also suggests that wrongly applied DNR orders may have caused avoidable deaths. Several health workers also reported that they had been put under pressure to issue DNRs without first conferring with those involved.



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