Apology for ‘do not resuscitate’ order on Down’s patient welcomed by SPUC Pro-Life

Andrew Waters

Andrew Waters

The BBC reported today that East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust has apologized for placing a ‘do not resuscitate’ order on the late Andrew Waters in 2011.

“The trust accepts that it breached its duty owed to the patient. We apologise unreservedly for this and the distress caused.”

Mr. Waters’ Down’s syndrome and his learning difficulties were among the reasons for the DNR.

The order had been placed without consulting with or informing his family or carers. Mr. Waters was later discharged from hospital and died in May this year.

Paul Tully, SPUC Pro-Life’s general secretary, commented: “We welcome the hospital’s apology and its undertaking to prevent such wrongs happening again. It is disturbing that disabled people continue to be threatened with lethal discrimination.

“We agree with Michael Waters, Andrew’s brother, that ‘people with Down’s syndrome deserve the right to live like you and me.’ It should be emphasised that the welfare and the right to life of patients should come first regardless of whether or not the patient’s family or carers are consulted.”