"Do older patients have to say they want to die?"

About: University Hospital Llandough / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

We have had few visits and contacts with doctors but on a Friday about 4 pm there appears to be a rush to the wards. Doctors who have never examined or spoken to the patient feel they have the right to discuss their cases which are quite advanced illnesses and then suggest DNAR with them. This has happened on both Fridays that he has been at the hospital.

It would seem that doctors are sent out to get as many as possible just before the weekend as the care on the weekend is even worse than during the week and they are busy. So this being the implication why not tell everyone they are dying and why not try a DNAR? Really we have been so distressed by this as we have known the patient for 60 years as a father and he has a wife of more than 60 years.

Do older patients have to say they want to die? Why can't clinicians make a decision if a patient is very sick and slips slowly away in the ward?

Some patients believe still in the will of God and such hard decisions contradict their faith at this vital time. I would interested to know if others have seen this Friday Phenomenon.

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Response from Sheila Harrison, Assistant Director Patient Experience, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

I am really sorry and concerned to read this reflection of care on a ward in one of our hospitals. I would be grateful if the person who posted this comment would contact me to discuss further, I can then investigate the reflections.

I can be contacted on sheila.harrison@wales.nhs.uk



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