Decisions Relating to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Author: Guidance from the British Medical Association, the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Royal College of Nursing

Published Date: November 2018

Date to Review: August 2021

Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

In brief

This guidance offers in-depth advice on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the relevant ethical principles involved.

Some of the key sections are listed below:

  • Decision-making framework

  • Advance care planning

  • Non-discrimination

  • Human Rights Act

  • Decisions not to attempt CPR because it will not be successful

  • Decisions about CPR that are based on a balance of benefits and burdens

  • Circumstances when a CPR decision may not be followed

  • Initial presumption in favour of CPR when there is no recorded CPR decision

  • Refusals of CPR by adults with capacity

  • Adults who lack capacity

  • Children and young people under 18 years of age

  • Confidentiality

  • Provision of information in printed and other formats for patients and those close to patients

  • Responsibility for decision-making

  • Recording decisions

  • Communicating decisions to other healthcare providers

  • Reviewing decisions

  • Standards, audit and training