For over a year, we’ve had mainstream reports of “unprecedented” and “illegal” DNRs – how big a role did they play in creating this “pandemic”? And are they being used to mask large-scale euthanasia?
The rise in the use of Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNRs), and the suggestion that patients are being compelled to sign them, or even having them signed on their behalf in secret, has been one of the more concerning narratives to come out of the last year of “pandemic”.
As early as April of 2020, entirely mainstream publications, such as the Health Service Journal (HSJ), were running articles expressing concern over the “unprecedented” rise in “illegal” DNR orders for those with learning disabilities.
In June 2020 the Independent picked up the story, citing some troubling examples found by charity workers and family members:
In one example, a man in his fifties with sight loss was admitted to hospital after a choking episode and was incorrectly diagnosed with coronavirus. He was discharged the next day with a DNR form giving the reason as his “blindness and severe learning disabilities”
Marie-Anne Peters, whose brother Alistair has epilepsy but no other health conditions, overturned a DNR on her brother which included instructions for him not to be taken to hospital.
The BBC reported that, in Wales, some people were sent letters instructing them to sign DNRs, and their families not to call 999 in the event of an emergency. While, in Somerset, Sussex and Derbyshire, autism support groups were sent letters by GP surgeries telling them their members had to sign DNR orders.
As you can see, we’re not just talking about people who are terminally or even severely ill. Autism, sight loss and epilepsy are not conditions that would ever, under normal circumstances, have patients deemed unworthy of receiving life-saving treatment.
It wasn’t just the ill or disabled who fell victim to this, either. In June last year, it was revealed that “blanket” DNRs had been applied to nursing homes by GPs all around the country.
Other surgeries and hospitals sent out letters to elderly patients, and other “at risk groups”, instructing them they needed to sign DNRs to protect the NHS.
Some care home residents were wrongly subjected to decisions ruling out attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the early stages of the covid-19 pandemic, leading to potentially avoidable deaths
The root cause of this can be traced back to two sets of NHS guidelines, both written and published in the spring of 2020.