Do Not Resuscitate


Registered User
Apr 4, 2004
Dear all, I posted a couple of days ago about how I felt my 84-year old mum's life was being prolonged unnecessarily. She has vascular dementia - cannot walk, falls all the time, can't swallow properly, is doubly incontinent, can't talk, is aggressive, doesn't recognise me (her only child) a lot of the time, has constant mini-strokes etc...She had another stroke about 4-5 days ago so things are coming to a head .. and decisions have to be taken .

After (brief) discussions with her remaining relatives (her sister and my cousin), and with the care home person who administers medications, I am writing the following letter to the home. Is it OK ? - ie is this what a 'Do Not Resuscitate' request looks like ?. All advice appreciated. Have put in *** here instead of names for this posting to preserve privacy.

I feel so strongly about this and know my mum would too if she were compos mentis. It is no life - just an undignified existance that needs to come to an end sooner rather than later for everyone's peace of mind (especially mine if I am totally honest). Other family members except one, who is not technically a blood- relative , but who has been wonderful) have not really bothered since she became ill -so I feel the decision is down to me and me alone - which is a terrible responsibility. My dad died 2 years ago - which is a blessing a he would be broken- hearted seeing her in this state - I think this is what he would have wanted as well. I did a DNR for him too but that was verbal and in hospital. Mum's home have just asked me to put it in writing so this is where I need advice please.


‘DO NOT RESUSCITATE’ ORDER FOR '****Name of my mum**

I am writing regarding my mother, Mrs ****** **** (Dob ****). In the event of a medical emergency/hospitalisation I am requesting that she is not given any medical intervention but rather care to make her comfortable and pain-free.

Please make sure that this directive is in her notes and that the staff at ******, her GP and any paramedics attending her, are aware of this wish.

Thank you for your help and understanding.


Last edited:


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
It's a difficult one.

I have spoken to Jan's care home manager, to her GP at the home, to her consultant, and notes have been made in her file of my wish for no resuscitation.

It can't do any harm to put it in writing oneself and what you suggest seems okay to me.


Registered User
Sep 26, 2005
east sussex

My husband is in a nursing home . The GP there has asked me if i wish to have a DNR added to his notes and i have agreed to this. He has vascular dementia and is at risk of a massive stroke. It was an emotive decision but i think it was the right one.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Would it be advisable to have it witnessed, do you think? Don't know, just wondered. Also, I understand that most hospital trusts have guidelines regarding DNRs. You might have less problems later if you match those.

I do wonder whether "any medical intervention but rather care to make her comfortable and pain-free" is specific enough. Living wills (a rather different animal) normally say something like

"If it is the opinion of two independent doctors that there is no reasonable
prospect of my recovery form severe physical illness, or from impairment
expected to cause me severe distress or render me incapable of rational
existence, then I direct that I be allowed to die and not be kept
alive by artificial means such as life support systems, tube feeding,
antibiotics, resuscitation or blood transfusions: any treatment which
has no benefit other than a mere prolongation of my existence should
be withheld or withdrawn, even if it means my life is shortened. I
accept basic care however and I request aggressive palliative care,
drugs or any other measures to keep me free of pain or distress, even
if they shorten my life."



Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
when my untie had a stroke ,last year they advice me against resuscitation if she had another stroke , 1st stroke was very bad but said it was up to me .

So i said No resuscitation

she had another stroke and died 14 days later 02/01/06 pain free ( I hope ) she was on Morphine


Registered User
May 24, 2006
Having recently gone through all this and been asked by the consultant if i wanted DNR put on my Mothers notes

I would go furthur and add to your request that they do not attempt to treat infections or any other medical condition

Just that they make her pain free and comforatable

Right to my Mothers last moments just 4 weeks ago they were trying to aggresively treat an infection

In patients with VD or AD and their resulting vulnerable brains ... its usually an infection like pneumonia or clostridium difficile that causes their death through a build up of toxins in the body and renal failure occuring

Unless you are very specific the doctors merely see DNR as no cardiac resuscitation but will claim they are treating everything else as palliative

All that does is prolong the misery for all

I should know because we had 5 weeks of it all because they so aggresively treated the pneumonias she was admitted with when it would have been so much kinder to have allowed her to slip away

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