Call for Health Secretary to intervene over 'outrageous' bid to get older people to sign DNR forms

Jeane Freeman urged to step in

Sunday, 5th April 2020, 1:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th April 2020, 1:05 pm
Neil Findlay has called on Jeane Freeman to step in over concerns about older DNR letters

HEALTH Secretary Jeane Freeman is being urged to intervene after claims that older people are being pressurised into signing Do Not Resuscitate forms.

Lothian Labour MSP Neil Findlay called on Ms Freeman to act after one woman told how her father had refused to sign but then got a letter saying his GP had signed on his behalf.

Mr Findlay tweeted: “This is outrageous - I am hearing a lot about DNR letter and texts going to patients - this is crass, insensitive and very upsetting. @JeaneF1MSP must step in and give guidance as practices seem to be doing their own thing on DNR and it’s frightening people.”

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A DNR notice means if the person’s breathing stops or they have a cardiac arrest they will not be given CPR.

Mr Findlay’s call came after former nurse Jill Braund posted on Twitter: “Last week my Dad (95) was asked twice by his practice coordinator if he wanted to sign a DNR. He refused and told her why. Within 48 hrs a letter signed by his GP arrived informing him the GP had overruled and signed on Dad’s behalf. 48 hrs later Dad is a broken man. Given up.”

A surgery in South Wales had to apologise last week after sending a letter to people with serious health conditions suggesting they sign DNR documents.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted no-one should be asked to sign a DNR order if they do not want to. She said: “Nobody, not just in these circumstances but in any circumstances, should be pushed into signing up to anything like that.”