Intelligent Answers > Relationships, health and wellbeing

D N R procedure


How would one go about being registered as DNR ? Would the Gp be the first to approach, or maybe a lawyer ? How would it be possible to ensure that if the worst happens, wherever it happens, there would be no resuscitation ? Does one wear a bracelet or something ? I would be interested to know for sure.

I don't think I can fully answer your question but I can maybe add some extra details...

The answer to your question isn't really covered in so many words in the NHS website. However, the NHS website does have a section covering a DNR situation. Reading through that website, it is clear that the decision to issue a DNR request is yours and yours alone to make. You do not need a GP or a lawyer to ratify it.

Unfortunately, from what I've been able to glean, the NHS website does not actually cover your specific question ie Does one wear a bracelet or something? in so many words.

If you google these words NHS Does an advance decision need to be signed and witnessed? you will find that the decision to issue a DNR notice is yours and yours alone. Also, issuing a DNR notice is legal in the UK (whereas full euthanasia is still not).

Once you have issued a DNR request, then your treatment team should respect your wishes - but how do the treatment team learn of your wishes?

The NHS website states that, "...once you have made a DNR request, your family or carers may have to find it quickly if you require emergency treatment - and they need to tell the healthcare professionals your wishes.

You can (also) keep a copy in your medical records."

So, displaying your decision clearly in your medical notes is recommended and should ensure that your wishes are seen and respected by the hospital team treating you.

I should think that your treatment team will be duty-bound to respect your wishes - so I don't think that the hospital can really object if you wear a bracelet stating your wishes to this effect. Nor can I see why they should object if you want to display a poster clearly stating your wishes on the headboard of your hospital bed.

What is clear is that your DNR notice should be as specific as possible - ie naming the specific treatments you no longer want used in resuscitating you (ie CPR, antibiotics etc).

Purely as a personal comment, I really do think that the NHS website ought to add a section clearly aimed at answering your question because it would remove doubt in an end of life situation.

I believe that people need to know 100% clearly what they can and cannot do and (if the answer is you can actually do what you like) then saying this clearly could be a vitally important reassurance in what can be already an already distressing situation.

Thank you PK. You have cleared up some of the difficulty. My thought was, supposing I am in a car crash or something, nobody would know who I am much less where my medical notes are. I did consider having ' D N R ' tattooed on my chest, but only for a moment. I think, from your answer, I might approach my GP in the first instance. I have spoken to family members, but it could be that a decision has to be made in the absence of others. I appreciate your research, thank you again.


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