Patient-doctor discussions surrounding do not attempt cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) orders amidst the COVID-19 pandemic have caused widespread, understandable panic in the UK, set against a backdrop of proportionately higher elderly deaths, discussions surrounding resource allocation (particularly with reference to ventilators), and emerging stories of rising care home deaths. Here, we highlight how current debates surrounding DNACPRs – and advanced care planning more generally – raise important lessons for the future surrounding how we might improve when clinicians and patients have these discussions in the process of care.
Month: April 2020
At the start of every public health ethics course I teach, I give my students a list of questions to explore, but leave the most important one until last: ‘What kind of society do we want to be?’ I want them to circle back to this thought, no matter the topic, to instil in them the understanding that public health practice and policy are always based on value judgments. Our job, as ethicists, is not always to provide the right answer, but to clarify the values and interests embedded in our decision making.