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Tracey v. Cambridge University Hospital - No Guidance on Duty to Consult Patient before Entering DNR

Posted Dec 27 2012 1:12pm
Last week,  Mrs. Justice Nicola Davies ruled in Tracey v. Cambridge University Hospital.  I have posted a copy of the  decision here .

Janet Tracey was not consulted before a "do not resuscitate" notice was placed on her medical records.  But Justice Davies held that the failure to inform or involve Janet had "minimal causative effect," as the notice was cancelled five days later when her family objected, and not acted upon.  The judge also found that a second notice, which followed three days afterwards and two days before Mrs Tracey's death, was put in place with the agreement of her family.

Justice Davies ruled that it would be neither "appropriate nor proportionate", in the light of those limited findings of fact, to have a judicial review hearing on the legal issues.  She refused permission to appeal but lawyers for Mrs Tracey can pursue the application directly with the Court of Appeal.  Plaintiffs want a judicial review to clarify whether there is a legal duty to inform patients with capacity whether a DNR has been placed on their notes and whether they have any right to be consulted about it.
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