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This was a very interesting article. As a professional with frequent intensive care duties early discussions about patient’s wishes are best. Ideally, these should take place away from the acute setting. This is what we always hope to have for our unconscious patients being admitted to the unit.
Unfortunately, these discussions are a bonus rather than routine practice even in end stage disease. Perhaps this partly explains the difference in expectation between the medical team and the family. This leads to management disagreements. It is not uncommon to hear a family “wanting everything doing” for their loved ones in a DNACPR conversation.
In our training we have always been taught that DNACPR is a medical decision. It is good practice nevertheless to communicate any such major management decisions to the family. Nevertheless, there appears to be a move towards completely patient/family centred care. There are multiple occasions a DNACPR is not put in place as the family will not agree, despite a consensus among multiple consultants.
In this climate, with the family often seen as the representative of the patient without capacity, is a DNACPR decision still a medical decision?