Article Text

Download PDFPDF
‘Do not resuscitate me in Barbados’
  1. Mark Taubert1,2
  1. 1 Palliative Medicine, Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2 Palliative Care, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark Taubert, Palliative Medicine, Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff CF14 2TL, UK; mtaubert{at}


New ways of encouraging discussion and education around the topic of do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions in healthcare can prove challenging. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is still portrayed as an intervention that is successful even in people with multiple long-term conditions. In 2020, during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a letter from a palliative care doctor to his patient was read out as part of an online campaign entitled #ReadALetter, organised by the organisation Letters Live. The letter addresses misconceptions regarding DNACPR decisions and encourages thoughtful dialogue. In particular, it promotes an individualised approach for clinicians, and investigates one patient’s journey: from initially rejecting the concept, to later on fully embracing it as part of his holistic care. A journey that took him to Barbados, amongst other places.

  • clinical decisions
  • communication
  • education and training
  • quality of life

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Twitter @DrMarkTaubert

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.