Socialised Medicine: UK Care Homes Were Given ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders at Height of Coronavirus Pandemic

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - MAY 05: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Patient provided consent to be photographed.
Leon Neal - Pool/Getty Images

An astonishing ten per cent of care homes in the United Kingdom were told by National Health Service (NHS) managers to introduce do not resuscitate (DNR) orders for patients during the height of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

A survey conducted by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) — a charity that seeks to improve the nursing care of people in their own homes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland — found that care homes were told by hospitals that there was a “no admissions” policy and that local GPs and care home managers imposed illegal “do not resuscitate” orders for care home patients.

The report, published by The Independent, surveyed 163 care home nurses and managers accross the country between May and June.

A nurse in a caring home said: “We were asked to change the status of all our residents to do not resuscitate and not for escalation to hospital. We refused.”

“All residents with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 were automatically made DNAR and given emergency health-care plans to stay in the home,” another nurse said.

An author of the study, Professor Alison Leary said: “I was quite surprised how many people reported issues with DNRs as I was expecting one or two, but that 10 per cent of the respondents raised an issue, because they were either blanket decisions for whole populations, or they were imposed without discussion with the care home or the family or the residents, is really worrying.”

“These decisions were being made by NHS managers not clinicians. And this wasn’t just happening with elderly people, it was those with learning disabilities or cognitive problems of all ages,” she added.

Leary is now calling on the government to open an inquiry into the DNRs in order to prevent similar actions from being taken in the winter when elderly people are at a higher risk of succumbing to diseases.

The report also revealed that 43 per cent of nursing homes surveyed received patients from hospitals in March and April, despite not knowing the Coronaivrus status of the patients.

A nurse at one caring home said that they were under “constant pressure to admit people who were COVID positive”.

“The acute sector pushed us to take untested admissions. The two weeks of daily deaths during an outbreak were possibly the two worst weeks of my 35-year nursing career,” another nurse lamented.

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that between March 2nd and June 12th, nearly one-third of all deaths of care home patients were linked to the Wuhan virus.

The vast majority of those deaths, 74.9 per cent, took place in care homes, while 24.8 per cent died in hospitals.

In April, a Somerset GP surgery was revealed to have sent a letter to an autistic support group, informing them that members should fill out Do Not Resuscitate forms beforehand in case they were stricken with the Chinese virus.

Doctors were also found to be pressuring Britons with serious illnesses to sign DNRs, with a GP surgery in Wales touting “several benefits” of throwing away their right to receive life-saving care, including the NHS’s ability to focus on the “the young and fit who have a greater chance” of survival.

One of the patients at the surgery said that the letter she received: “not only greatly upset me but my family and close friends. It was like having my death warrant being sent by the grim reaper. It made me feel worthless. I’ve lived with cancer for eight years, and I want to live another couple of years. I’m not digging my grave yet.”

Reports also emerged from Scotland, of elderly patients having DNR forms signed for them by their GP without the consent of their family.

The willingness to sacrifice lives in the United Kindom’s socialised health care system was perhaps best typified in 2017, when the parents of a child with a chronic illness, Charlie Gard, were barred from travelling with their son to the United States to receive experimental treatment after losing a court case in the UK Supreme Court and an appeal in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

British doctors claimed that the boy should “die with dignity”. Baby Charlie died on July 28th, 2017.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.