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Permission granted to continue with DNR case

Leigh Day & Co is representing the family of Janet Tracey who died on 7th March 2011

Janet Tracey

23 November 2011

A High Court judge has granted permission to the family of Janet Tracey to proceed with a judicial review of a hospital’s DNR (do not resuscitate) policies.   Janet Tracey died in Addenbrooke’s Hospital earlier this year after a ‘Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Order’ (known as a DNACPR or DNR) was placed on Janet’s medical notes, without her permission. 

Leigh Day issued the judicial review and human rights claim against the NHS Trust responsible for Addenbrooke’s and against the Secretary of State for Health seeking Declarations from the Court that the Trust’s policy on the use of DNACPR is unlawful, and for the Secretary of State for Health to issue national guidance for patients and their families to know their rights concerning the use of DNACPRs.

The Tracey family believes failings by other hospitals to properly operate "Do not attempt cardio-pulmonary resuscitation" (DNACPR) policies reported by the NHS watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), in recent months illustrates the importance of the issue and is hoping the high court in London will prioritise hearing of the case.

Merry Varney, who is representing David Tracey, said:

"We are extremely pleased that the court has granted permission for us to take the case of Mrs Tracey forward as we believe it is essential to establish the legal position regarding the imposition and use of do not resuscitate orders.

"Clarity of the extent to which patients and families have a right to be informed of the use of these orders, be involved in the decision-making process and how to challenge any decision is urgently needed as significant numbers of people are currently affected by their use.

"We have received numerous inquiries from other affected families who are currently trying to dispute the imposition of a DNR without consent and those bereaved who have recently discovered a DNR was imposed on their relative. Taken together with the findings of the CQC that many hospitals are imposing DNRs without consent or consultation, it is beyond doubt that the current system remains open to widespread abuse and further patients suffering human rights violations."

For more information please contact Merry Varney on 0207 650 1338.

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