The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) has published a report titled 'Scared, Angry, Discriminatory, Out of my Control: DNAR Decision-Making in 2020'.
A Do Not Attempt Resuscitation decision is when medical professionals decide to not provide CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to an individual. A DNAR order is also sometimes called a DNACPR order or DNR order.
When DNAR orders are made with the full involvement of a person, as part of advanced care planning or a treatment plan, this can be an example of good human rights practice.
The use of DNARs orders without involving the person and/or their loved ones raises a number of human rights issues including: the right to life, the right to be free from inhuman anf degrading treatment, the right to family and private life and the right to be free from discrimination.
The report shows a worrying picture around the rights of involvement in care and treatment decisions, including DNARs. BIHR's evidence gathered with people and their families who have experienced DNAR decisions depicts serious issues of discrimination related to disability and age, and the intersection between the two, as well as other factors.
Coronavirus has shone a spotlight on this, and some reported an increase in worrying DNAR decisions; but none of this is new, these problems are ongoing.
This report focuses on the experiences of people and their loved ones. In January 2021, BIHR began evidence gathering with frontline staff in health, care, social work, and other related fields.