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'Not For Resuscitation' Orders Issued In 'good Faith'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
'Not For Resuscitation' Orders Issued In 'good Faith'

Wellington, Nov 3 NZPA - MidCentral Health, which has received two complaints about issuing "not-for-resuscitation" orders on two Palmerston North Hospital patients without consent, say staff acted in "good faith".

The hospital's emergency department is under investigation after a doctor filled out a "do not resuscitate" order for 85-year-old woman Juanita Wallace, allegedly without consent.

The order was discovered by Mrs Wallace's son James Wallace during Labour weekend.

It has emerged that MidCentral Health received a similar complaint involving another patient in January and it is now reviewing its policies and procedures about the orders.

MidCentral Health's chief medical officer Dr Ken Clark today said he didn't believe it was a matter of inadequate training.

"I think the health professionals involved acted in good faith and in what they believed to be the patients' interests and I don't think this is a matter of training," he told Radio New Zealand.

End of life care was a "rapidly evolving area in medicine and in society", he said.

"It is very important that we think through exactly what goes into our policy for the sake of our patients, their families and of course for our staff who are often placed in situations of making decisions in short time-frames about these matters," Dr Clark said.

The board was "actively engaging" with the families involved in the complaints, he said.


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