We heard the most troubling story this week about an elderly woman living alone in her nineties, who was being pressed by her GP to agree to a DNR! (In case you don’t know a DNR is a Do Not Resuscitate order, should a person suffer a cardiac arrest).
The story was told by the woman to her adult granddaughter. She said the doctor had called round to see as as she was having a minor difficulty and the GP brought up the subject of the DNR, saying “you wouldn’t want to hurt your ribs or breathe through a tube”.
The woman declined to engage in the conversation, and the doctor took no response as no argument and proceeded to put “DNR” in the woman’s notes!
Luckily the granddaughter arrived whilst the doctor was there and was able to challenge the doctor saying that he grandmother needed time to think about the matter and come up with what she wants for herself.
So this is our strong and clear message to everyone – no response IS a response. And if you have not heard YES then the answer is NO!
Whilst we very much accept that there is a time and place for these difficult decisions and no doubt it was meant with the very best of intentions, we can all decide for ourselves what we want to do. And NO ONE has the right to decide for us.
If you want to start a conversation about how your end of care life might look like, here’s our checklist to get you going!