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‘Do not resuscitate me in Barbados’

Abstract

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

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