Legal issues in end-of-life care 2: consent and decision-making
Paramedics are legally and professionally obliged to uphold their patients' right to dignity, respect and autonomy—and this includes the general requirement to obtain their consent before proceeding with any intervention. The first instalment of this two-part article considered the challenges that this might present to the paramedic. This second article develops this theme and further explores the legal framework underpinning the decision-making process when caring for a patient approaching the end of life. It also examines issues around consent and mental capacity in more depth and addresses matters such as such as advance decisions to refuse treatment (ADRT) and do not attempt cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions.