Coronavirus: Scots should not be pushed into signing "do not resuscitate" forms

Nicola Sturgeon has said that no patients in Scotland should be "pushed" into signing "do not resuscitate" agreements with medics.

Catherine Calderwood says patients should not be pushed into signing DNR deals

The First Minister was responding to reports that an 86-year-old in Tayside agreed to the procedure – should the circumstances occur – following a phonecall from her local GP. Her family say the practice cited “Covid-19 protocol” in making the arrangement, despite the pensioner suffering from memory problems.

But the First Minster said today: “Nobody, not just in these circumstances, but in any circumstances should be pushed into signup to any thing like that."

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Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood also insist that patients should not feel pressure into signing such documents.

"There's certainly not any protocol, national or otherwise, that discuss pushing people into a Do Not Resuscitate signature," she said.

She added that conversations do take place between doctors and patients about making their "own wishes known" if they were to become significantly unwell.

"These are conversations that we would want people to have with their families at any time," she added.

This can can means some members of the public don't have to go into hospital for more treatment than they would wish, if they become seriously unwell.

"This is absolutely not something we are discussing in light of COVID19 and pushing people into discussions that they would otherwise not be comfortable with," the chief medic added.

NHS Tayside has said that policy has not changed on their guidance on DNACPR (Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) forms during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tory health spokesman Miles Briggs said elderly Scots should not be "hurried" into making major decisions like DNR.

“Everyone accepts the NHS has to make changes as we battle this crisis," he said.

“But pushing elderly and very vulnerable patients into agreeing life-ending procedures over the phone is utterly unacceptable.

“This kind of thing should never happen within the NHS, irrespective of the challenges it is facing. This lady and her family deserve a very thorough apology."