Since March 2020 and the start of Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, there has been a lot of concern about the use of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Orders (DNACPR / DNR / DNAR). In particular there is a concern that DNAR decisions are being made without involving people, and that they are being made because of people's age or because they are disabled (or both).

The Care Quality Commission is conducting a rapid review of DNAR decisions during Covid-19; this is for England. The investigations for this start in late November, and the CQC will publish the report on its findings in February or March 2020 (CQC Press Release).

From our work with people, community groups and frontline staff we think some DNAR decisions have risked people’s human rights, especially our rights to choice and involvement, to be treated equally, and sometimes their right to life. We think it is important the CQC hears evidence about why this is a human rights issue for people, what their experiences are, and how to stop this risk to people’s rights. Therefore, we are conducting research on DNAR decisions and human rights which we hope will be considered by the CQC in their review, but which also exist as standalone recommendations about DNAR orders and the need for them to be framed exactly as they are, as human rights issues.

We are working with Learning Disability England and Turning Point to host two workshops to provide people with experience of DNAR during Covid-19 to share their experiences. This will help identify common concerns about the DNAR decisions. We are publishing our findings from this research as reports.

                    

Our Workshops

Together with Learning Disability England and Turning point, we are hosting two workshops to gather evidence:

  • One workshop with people who have experienced a DNAR; this could be themselves, or a family member or friend, someone you care for or community and self-led groups (December 2020).
  • One workshop with staff working in health, care and social work who have seen the use of DNAR which they are concerned about (January 2021).

Our Reports

On 23 December 2020, we published our first report on DNAR decision-making and human rights. This report sets out the findings of our first workshop, which was with people who have experienced a DNAR, loved ones, supporters and community and self-led groups. Click the buttons below to read this report and the Easy Read version:

Our second report will set out the findings of our second workshop, which was with staff working in health, care and social work who have seen the use of DNAR which they are concerned about. The workshop was held on 11 January 2021, and we will be publishing our findings shortly.