500 signatures reached
To: Jeane Freeman, Health Minister for Scotland
Stop Prejudiced DNR and Non Admission Requests to Disabled, Unwell & Elderly People
Ensure End of Life discussions are handled sensitively, safely and without prejudice. Ensure End of Life measures are not inflicted upon vulnerable people and that they, or their family, understand what they are consenting to.
Why is this important?
NHS Inform states that we must never be denied access to NHS resources due to age, sex, race, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy or maternity.
Disabled people, those with chronic health conditions and the elderly are being contacted by GP practices with checklists. Within these checklists are two questions which must be stopped:
1. Are you happy for us to put a DNR on your file?*
2. Are you happy for us to put on your file that you won't be admitted to hospital should you become unwell? **
*A DNR is a Do Not Resuscitate order.
**Note, this does not say 'get Covid-19', but 'become unwell'.
This is an act of prejudice.
These questions are coming out of the blue.
Notice the use of the word 'happy'. They are leading questions; the answer is implied in the question and this makes it is very hard to say 'no'.
These questions also imply that our lives are worth less, that we can be 'cannon fodder' and should happily give up our rights to medical care. It implies that we are a burden.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have heard 'but it is only sick people who die from this', this has devalued us and made us feel more vulnerable. Now, we are being asked to give up their right to medical care and therefore, potentially our lives.
End of Life conversations should be undertaken in a respectful, dignified and sensitive way. During this pandemic, it should be everybody or nobody. We are all at risk and may all need to consider how we would like to be treated in our final hours. It is not ok to ask those who may require medical care to forgo hospital admission and stay at home.
Resuscitation is only performed where it is safe to do so. Perhaps more dangerous, is being asked to give up the right to hospital admission, thus hugely increasing the risk of death.
Forget fighting over toilet rolls, we need to fight to keep our human rights upheld!