Nurses to be given authority not to resuscitate patients

“Experienced nurses should have the authority to decide if patients should be resuscitated, according to new guidelines to health professionals.”

From personal experience and from the experiences of some of my friends and loved ones who have been hospitalised, I am all too well aware of the sorry state of nursing in the NHS in England. There are a great many dedicated, compassionate nursing staff no doubt….but I have seen things and heard things (while lying in hospital beds day and night) that would make your hair stand on end. I have friends who are nurses themselves, who recoil in horror as they tell of the antics, apathay and atrocious behaviour of their colleagues.

Some of the things I have witnessed or heard first hand….patients who have breathing difficulties ignored by nursing staff…. incapacitated patients left with their heads in their meals…not being fed….left in soiled clothing and beds ….patients in pain, ringing bed buzzers for hours on end through the night while nursing staff order take-out meals and play games such as locking one another in cupboards. No! there is no way, with the NHS as it is, that nursing staff should be given the authority to make any such momentous decisions about a patients life. For some nursing staff, however small a minority they may be in the scheme of things, patients are a burden and an inconvenience and nursing is not a vocation, but a job. Particular disrespect and intolerance is shown towards the elderly, a generation of people most greatly in need of care.

It’s almost laughable that at a point in which our hospitals are so MRSA filled that patients are sent home to recover almost immediately that they have had operations, that nurses – senior ones at that, who I would suggest may have saved many more lives by ensuring the cleanliness of their wards – are now to be given the authority to turn off the power supply of the most needy and vulnerable people in our country.

What’s puzzling to me is that apparantly these senior nurses are ‘experienced’ and yet there seems to be no evidence of it. Do they have experience of turning off and on life support on their own summation of a case, even before this new ruling was bought into being?

Clever, clever British Medical Association….BMA for short….or ‘bet my ass’ that there’s going to be less people being admitted to or admitting themselves to hospital until this new ruling is revoked. But then, perhaps that was the plan? The NHS is always bemoaning bed shortages, after all…

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7 Responses to Nurses to be given authority not to resuscitate patients

  1. It’s totally unbelevable! Do you think we should protest?

  2. barbszy says:

    That is really frightening! To my knowledge, in the USA a patient can have a “DNR” (do not resuscitate” order put in their chart but that has to go with a doctor’s order. But this sounds like it is rife with the potential for abuse. Difficult patient? Just DNR….

  3. Scott says:

    hmmm, and I am wondering why so many Americans like me oppose government fun health care! sheesh

  4. Scott says:

    that’s government RUN health care lol

  5. Antonia says:

    Being a final year medic I have seen a lot of nurses.
    Some are competant; however the VAST VAST majority of nurses have a level of knowlegde of human biology and medicine that is below that of a 1st year medical student.

    I would NEVER put my life in the hands of a nurse.

  6. Oh my word, this is unbelievable. A nurse who probably has no relationship with the patient or with the patient’s family is going to decide who will live and who will die? I have experienced this disrespect for the elderly in hospitals too, here in the U.S., with both my parents. It was particularly troubling with my mother who was so incapacitated, many did not treat her life with respect. What a blessing one doctor was, though. He was treating her with antibiotics for pneumonia and was clearly being just as thorough, just as concerned as if he were treating a healthy 20 year old, instead of a 75 year old woman who could not speak, walk, or even feed herself. God bless that doctor. He was a good man.

  7. ukok says:

    Jackie,

    Certainly I think we should be writing to our politicians, to the BMA and anyone else in a position of power to overturn this decision!

    Barb,

    You hit the nail right bang on the head, it’s exactly the same over here. What a sad, sad state of affairs it is. poeple used to go to hospital to get better, not made worse….or worse…

    Scott,

    that’s a very interesting persepective too, because while I do believe that on the whole the NHS is a marvellous thing, it isn’t the NHS that’s the problem, it’s the staff. Or rather, some of the staff!

    We do have private healthcare over here, but for the most part, it really costs and many, particularly those like myself who are on a low income, could never afford to use itm 😦

    Antonia,

    I am very pleased that you’ve contributed to the discussion, your observatons carry a lot more weight than my own because you work in the health service in the UK as a medic! It is reassuring, sadly, that you confirm my own experiences with the NHS, because it almost sounds like fiction when I say how bad it is!

    Rosemary,

    My heart goes out to you that your own parents have suffered the disrespect and indignity of a warped health care system. I thank God that the doctor you mention, was so kind to your Mum and was tender and genuinely concerned with her wellbeing.

    Thanks so much for sharing your own families experiences with regard to this matter.

    (((hug)))

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