Yesterday, when the nurse arrived at the double, she started on the SOP [standard operating procedure] for such cases including cardio pulmonary resuscitation CPR. I've done that, or at least the ventilation part of it, with no prior training, back 40+ years ago when I worked as a hospital orderly. It didn't work out in 1978, despite the best resources [well maybe untrained self excluded from 'best resources' in that case] and it happening in a hospital ward. While the Nurse tried manually to force some sort of circulation to the brain, two ambulances arrived, and the paramedics took over. I happened to leave the building at the end of the day with one of the technicians who'd been much closer to the centre than me. I said "Well at least he went quick". He replied "Not really, they went at him, CPR, defibrillator, the works, for an hour. They have to do that . . . until someone tells them to stop". An hour is a long, long time anoxic to retain any sort of quality life if they did get his heart going again. Let's ask some questions:
- Who is it who finally calls it futile and . . . tells them to stop?
- Why is that the policy?
- Is that Institute policy; paramedic policy; Nurse policy?
- Who benefits?
- Is there any sense of informed consent about these procedures from The Principal ?