Monday, December 7, 2015

DNR and Down's syndrome

A hospital trust has apologised for placing a "do not resuscitate" (DNR) order on a patient with Down's Syndrome - and listing his learning difficulties among the reasons for doing so.
The family of Andrew Waters was not consulted or informed and found out only after he was discharged from hospital in Margate, Kent, in 2011.

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted breaching his human rights.

Mr Waters died in May, aged 53, but the order did not have a bearing...

Mr Waters loved dancing, swimming and drama groups...

His family were horrified when, during a hospital stay related to his dementia, staff decided he should not be resuscitated if he developed heart or breathing problems.

The order listed Down's Syndrome and his learning difficulties among the reasons.

Andrew's brother, Michael Waters, said: "For someone to make that decision, without consulting a member of the family or any one of his carers, was just totally unacceptable."

"No-one has the right to make such a decision in such a disgraceful way... to put those reasons down."

"We were there at hospital and involved in his care at every point."

The form was a folded-up piece of paper found in his bag after discharge, by his carers.

"There was nothing wrong with Andrew's health at the time which would have had an effect on resuscitation."...

Michael Waters added: "It's taken a long time for the hospital to admit this, which we've found hard."

"All we ever wanted from this case was a simple apology."

"People with Down's Syndrome deserve the right to live like you and me."

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