Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, has written a letter to local medical practices to ask them to ensure that they are not pressuring anyone to sign a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form against their wishes. This is following reports that blanket DNR policies are being put in place, particularly in residences of older people. Reports have also suggested that elderly and vulnerable people are being encouraged to sign up to DNR’s without adequate discussion on the subject.
Mr Beattie commented:
‘It is vital at this time that everyone feels the health service is reliable and supporting them with the correct level of care. People who are vulnerable, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, will be, understandably, anxious at this time about catching the virus. It is important that we do all that we can to ensure they do not feel isolated and that the help they need is in place.'
'It has been concerning for me to hear reports that DNR policies are being enacted for people in these situations without adequate consultation with patients. It is crucial that these people are treated with respect and dignity and this means ensuring that patients have their wants prioritised when making decisions around resuscitation.’
‘I have written to local GP Practices on the topic of Do Not Resuscitate forms, which are always a sensitive topic but are particularly prominent in this time of crisis. In my letter I stressed to the medical practices across Midlothian North and Musselburgh that they must treat individuals with the utmost respect in relation to DNR Forms. It is especially important that they do not pressure or influence individuals to sign DNR Forms. Further to this, settings such as care homes should not be putting blanket DNR policies in place for all members and we must ensure that this is not happening under any circumstances.’
‘We must respect the wishes of individual people in these circumstances. It is important that those who are vulnerable are not put under any additional undue pressure as a result of worries from being influenced into signing a DNR.’
‘Our NHS workers, alongside other key workers, are hugely important to our society and I would like to thank them for all their hard work. This is an unprecedented crisis of the highest degree and has changed everyone’s lives. We are extremely lucky to have these workers putting themselves on the front line to ensure everyone is protected. I hope that our services across Midlothian North and Musselburgh, and indeed across Scotland, will continue to provide the highest standard of care and attention to patients, despite the challenges we are currently facing.’