Medics gave ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ notices to patients with mental health issues or learning disabilities during Covid pandemic, report says

Jun 10, 2021 by

By Az Munrallee, Mailonline:

Mentally ill patients and those with learning disabilities were given ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders by doctors during the pandemic, it emerged last night.

The orders were issued if their heart stopped and at least one appears to have led to the death of a patient, it was reported.

Charities said they were aware of many occasions when orders were ‘inappropriately’ given, with one saying it saw 20 in a single month.

NHS England wrote to doctors last year as the pandemic struck reminding them of guidance that learning disability should never be a reason for issuing a DNR order.

But an investigation by the Daily Telegraph showed that it was later listed as a reason.

Last night the Department of Health said it was ‘unacceptable’ for DNRs to be applied ‘in any kind of blanket fashion’.

Jeremy Hunt, chairman of the Commons health committee, said: ‘This kind of hidden prejudice must be stamped out.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will appear before committee members today and is expected to be asked about the use of DNRs.

Earlier this year, a damning Care Quality Commission report revealed 508 care home residents had DNRs imposed on them without their consent during the pandemic.

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