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Shock Over Woman's "Do-Not-Resuscitate" Order

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Shock Over Woman's "Do-Not-Resuscitate" Order

Wellington, NZPA - Palmerston North Hospital's emergency department is being investigated after a doctor filled out a "do not resuscitate" order for an 85-year-old woman, allegedly without consent.

Long-time resthome resident Juanita Wallace, who is frail and largely bed-ridden, was taken by ambulance to the hospital on Friday with a serious chest infection, too sick to speak for herself, The Manawatu Standard reported.

Her son, Tim Wallace, was shocked when he visited the hospital to find a do-not-resuscitate order had been filled out by a doctor whose name he couldn't read.

She had been given morphine and no fluids, and her oxygen supply was off, he said.

There had been no consultation with him, as her enduring power of attorney, or Mrs Wallace, who does not have dementia and was on rest home records as having refused a not-for-resuscitation order.

However, the doctor indicated on the form that a discussion had been held with patient and family.

Mr Wallace has laid a formal complaint with MidCentral Health, which has launched an investigation.


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