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Thousands of people in England have had “do not resuscitate” orders imposed on them without their family’s knowledge, an audit of dying patients suggests.
One in five families were not consulted where doctors had decided not to revive their relative, a sample study by The Royal College of Physicians found.
Hospitals must “do better”, and it was “unforgivable” not to tell families, report author Prof Sam Ahmedzai said.
NHS England said end-of-life care had improved, but more could be done.
A “do not resuscitate” order (DNR) means medical staff will not attempt to bring the patient back to life if they stop breathing or their heart stops.