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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31300
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Is a hospital doctor allowed to sign a DNR order for an elderly

Customer Question

Is a hospital doctor allowed to sign a DNR order for an elderly patient, with no mental health issues, without any prior consultation with either the patient or her family?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

What is the present state of health of the patient? Has the hospital given an explanation for the DNR?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is about to be discharged from hospital (tomorrow) after being treated for a urinary tract infection. The ward sister informed me, by phone, that the doctor had taken the decision based on my mother's age (92), the fact that she has suffered TIAs (though not for the past few years), has had chest infections AND "suffers from dementia"! My mother experiences confusion when suffering from UTIs, which is a fairly common occurrence, but there has NEVER been any suggestion that she is suffering from dementia. In between UTIs she is perfectly lucid and capable of making decisions. She is, however, extremely deaf without her hearing aids and does not, therefore, always appreciate what is happening or what is being said.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please cancel this question and refund my payment via Paypal, where I have already lodged a complaint in the Resolution Centre. I don't think this is a complicated question and I would have expected any legal expert worth their salt to have provided a response within the timescale.