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There are many common misconceptions about CPR -- created, in part, by prime-time medical television programs showing patients being brought back almost miraculously from the brink of death. There's no doubt that CPR can be a lifesaver in certain situations. But CPR is not quite as successful as it's portrayed on TV.
Patient Protection Canada has heard from families across the country and beyond about their horrible hospital experiences. Almost none ever received an apology. That cold, hard reality is backed up by my own experience involving the lengthy hospitalization of my elderly mother a few years ago. Despite raising a number of questions and concerns about these and other matters, and never even hinting at legal action, no apology was ever forthcoming from this major hospital.
A recent landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada rejected a doctor's unilateral right to deny life-sustaining medical treatment to a patient over the family's objections. Attention needs to turn now to another life and death situation that is often bewildering and sometimes fraught with abuse: the do-not-resuscitate (DNR) decision when made by a family on behalf of a loved one. Physicians will often seek a DNR consent from a family member when an older patient is brought into the hospital. Their approach can be overly aggressive. I experienced this several years ago when my mother was hospitalized with a serious infection.