Judge rules on 'Do Not Resuscitate' case
Friday 21 December 2012
A judge has ruled against a further hearing in a case involving a terminally-ill woman who was not consulted before a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) notice was placed on her medical records.
Earlier this week, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said the failure to inform or involve 63-year-old Janet Tracey had "minimal causative effect", as the notice was cancelled five days later when her family objected, and not acted upon.
On that occasion, the doctor involved did consult Mrs Tracey's daughter and believed she had agreed to the notice.
The judge also found that a second notice, which followed three days afterwards and two days before Mrs Tracey's death, was put in place with the agreement of her family, who were unwilling to speak to her about it.
Today, the judge said it would be neither "appropriate nor proportionate", in the light of those limited findings of fact, to have a judicial review hearing on the legal issues, which would also involve the Health Secretary.
She refused permission to appeal but lawyers for Mrs Tracey can pursue the application directly with the Court of Appeal.
They want a judicial review to clarify whether there is a legal duty to inform patients with capacity whether a DNR has been placed on their notes and whether they have any right to be consulted about it.
Mrs Tracey, a care home manager, died in March last year following a transfer to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, after breaking her neck in a car crash on February 19 - two weeks after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
The first notice, on February 27, was cancelled on March 2, while a second was imposed on March 5, two days before she died.
Urging the go-ahead for a judicial review, Philip Havers QC said the issue was not academic but of real concern to many patients, their relatives and doctors.
Lord Faulks QC, for the trust, said there was certainly a public interest in such delicate and sensitive matters but that did not justify the court involving itself in rewriting policy.
Giving her ruling today, the judge said such a hearing would involve the court grappling with issues of policy and clinical decision-making on the basis of limited evidence.
The public interest would not be served by embarking upon a wide-ranging inquiry on such a basis.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...