On the 17 June 2014 The Master of the Rolls gave judgment in the landmark appeal in the case of R (Tracey) v Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Secretary of State for Health [2014] EWCA Civ 822. The court found that the Article 8 rights of the Claimant, Mr Tracey’s, late wife were infringed when a ‘do not attempt CPR notice’ was placed in her records without consultation of the deceased. The notice was lifted three days later at the request of the family. A further notice was later imposed with consultation of the deceased’s family, the deceased having made it clear she did not wish to be consulted, and that notice was in place when she died.

This is a decision of importance to medical practitioners and Trusts as it requires doctors to consult prior to imposing a DNACPR notice in all cases save where either it is not possible to do so, or where such consultation will cause harm. The judgment contains guidance to clinicians in this regard.