Fife MSP backs call for inquiry into use of 'do not resuscitate' orders

Alexander Stewart MSPAlexander Stewart MSP
Alexander Stewart MSP
NHS Fife has again said there has been no change over the use of ‘do not resuscitate’ orders during the pandemic after the issue was raised at the Scottish Parliament.

Alexander Stewart MSP said there were worries families in Fife felt they were “bring pressured” into signing the forms - an issue he said was Scotland wide.

Mr Stewart (Mid-Scotland & Fife, Conservative) raised the matter during First Ministers’ Questions as he highlighted Age Scotland’s call for a full inquiry and demanded a release of statistics to show just how many DNR forms have been issued in 2020.

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He said: “No patient or their loved ones should ever be pressured into signing a DNR form. It was of some consolation that the First Minister reiterated that stance to Parliament.

“It is also clear from Age Scotland that there are serious concerns that this might be happening without a full consultation, and with the awful thought that these orders may have been issued without the elderly patients’ knowledge.”

Dr Robert Cargill, NHS Fife’s associate medical director, said: “Where an attempt at resuscitation would be futile or not in a patient’s best interests, this is formalised using a DNA CPR form as used by all Scottish health boards.

Patients are not asked to sign the form. “

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He added: “Our existing policy on resuscitation has remained unchanged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our aim is always to provide care which is person-centred and with the expectation that clinical decisions are made jointly with an individual, or their loved ones

when this is appropriate, and their clinical team.”

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