Allowing a Natural Death

As part of planning ahead your GP may ask to discuss with you about your care when you are in your final days of life.

To “allow a natural death “ is a written record of a decision to not treat someone with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if they are so unwell that their heart has stopped beating and their lungs have stopped breathing. They commonly happen together, which is known as a cardiopulmonary arrest.

You may have already made a decision about not wanting to be resuscitated in a specific situation. However, if you haven’t made a decision about CPR and you want to, you should discuss this with your medical team or specialist nurse. You may also want to talk this through with your family, a close friend or a spiritual carer, such as a chaplain. The doctor will then discuss this decision with you. They should also let your family know what they recommend, unless you have asked them not to.

By discussing this with you early on when you feel able to talk to your Health Care Professional and or family an advance decision can be made.

If you decide you do not wish to be resuscitated and allow a natural death your doctor will complete with you a “yellow sticker” that is placed on the front of your notes so that everyone caring for you is aware of your wishes.