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ICMR launches 'Do Not Attempt Resuscitation' guidelines

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Dr Sunil Gupta at DNAR draft discussion

NEW DELHI : The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched 'Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR)' guidelines for doctors who try to revive terminally-ill patients.

“These guidelines will help treating doctors to manage patients in complicated situations better without causing more pain to them,” said Dr Balram Bhargawa, Director General, ICMR.

He said, “The guidelines will help the doctors make an informed decision whether or not to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the patient, given the background of an incurable disease where the patient's chances of survival are extremely low.”

Dr Roli Mathur, Head, ICMR Bioethics Unit, NCDIR, Bengaluru, said, “ICMR Bioethics Unit of National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research will very shortly hold a national consultation to engage with stakeholders, including patient's representatives, clinicians, social scientists, legal and others.”

Dr Mathur said, “The medical fraternity has welcomed this decision and has stated that the doctor should consult the family whether the patient would want to be resuscitated or not.”

Dr Sunil Gupta, Medical Director, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, stated, “Every patient has a right to live. So, doctors try their best to revive the patient.”

He pointed out, “In a few cases, knowing that the patient will not survive, but as per the family's wish, doctors try to revive the patient. But, no one, including the family, thinks about what the patient would be going through. So, we welcome the draft prepared by the ICMR. This will surely reduce the pain of the patient.”

Dr Shantanu Sen, National President, Indian Medical Association, said, “When a patient is suffering from an incurable disease, it is not right to give him CPR and revive him. CPR is given to save the life. So, the physicians should consult with a patient’s relatives and take a decision.”

He explained, “DNAR is a considered medical decision not to initiate or perform CPR on a patient suffering from an incurable disease/condition where meaningful survival is not expected.”

On the occasion, the ICMR organised a national consultation to discuss the DNAR draft. Health experts, doctors, patient rights activist, clinicians and nurses in critical care deliberated the draft in detail.


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