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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 21-January-2011, Vol 124 No 1328

[full text] [PDF]

The use of CPR in New Zealand: is it always lawful?
Stuart McLennan, Ron Paterson, PDG Skegg, Richard Aickin

Abstract


Since its development in the early 1960s, the use of CPR in the hospital setting has undergone intriguing changes. After initially being used very selectively, at the discretion of the doctor, the use of CPR rapidly expanded to the point that it was promptly begun on all patients having a cardiac arrest in hospital, regardless of the underlying illness. However, it soon became evident that the use of CPR on all patients created problems. In response to this, DNR orders were developed. The standard policy of New Zealand hospitals is now for CPR to be attempted on all patients having a cardiac arrest unless a DNR order is in place. We argue that this approach is not consistent with New Zealand law and that current policies should be amended to bring them into line with the Code of Rights and New Zealand law generally.

     
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