Our website is set to allow the use of cookies. For more information and to change settings click here. If you are happy with cookies please click "Continue" or simply continue browsing. Continue.

Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

13 OCT 2014

Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Jonathan Cailes

Major Works Manager

@JPFamilyLaw

Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Healthcare professionals are aware that decisions about whether or not CPR will be attempted raise sensitive and potentially distressing issues for patients and those emotionally close to them. As a consequence, there has been stand-alone professional guidance on CPR decision-making since the 1990s and guidance jointly published by the British Medical Association (BMA), Resuscitation Council (UK) and Royal College of Nursing since 2001 (sometimes referred to as the ‘Joint Statement’).

The high-level ethical principles that were embedded in the 2007 edition of the Joint Statement underpin the guidance in the third edition. This revision of the guidance places even greater emphasis on ensuring high-quality communication and recording of CPR decisions. This is in response to public and professional debate about CPR decisions, and to feedback from individual healthcare professionals and professional
bodies. The BMA, the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Royal College of Nursing
hope that these changes will help to support all healthcare professionals in their day-to-day consideration of decisions about CPR.

The guidance identifies the key ethical and legal principles that should inform all CPR decisions. The high-level ethical principles are the same for all people, in all settings, but differences in clinical and personal circumstances make it essential that all CPR decisions are made on an individual basis. How these individual decisions are made is also guided by the law, which differs between adults and children and differs in England and Wales, in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. For example, a central tenet of the mental capacity legislation in England and Wales is ‘best interests’ and in Scotland it is ‘benefit’. These terms can be interpreted in largely the same way and so, for the purposes of this guidance, are used interchangeably in parts of the
guidance.

This guidance provides a framework to support decisions relating to CPR and effective communication of those decisions. It also highlights relevant legal
requirements and differences.

This guidance does not address all the complex clinical considerations that healthcare teams can face. It provides general principles that allow local CPR policies to be tailored to local circumstances. Local and regional policies may also
contain more detailed guidance than can be provided here; they may include, for example, specific information about the allocation of individual responsibilities.

Click here to view 'Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (October 2014)'.

Medical Treatment and the Law: Issues of Consent

The Protection of the Vulnerable: Children and Adults Lacking Capacity

With a Foreword by Sir James Munby President of the Family Division and President of the Court of...

More Info from £60.00
Available in Family Law Online
Elder Law Journal

Elder Law Journal

A major source of information for practitioners and professional advisers dealing with legal...

Available in Private Client Law Online
Subscribe to our newsletters