GPs have been asked to ensure care home patients suffering from the coronavirus have a ‘do not resuscitate’ order in place where appropriate.
The Times reported a 79% rise in online searches for advance decisions to refuse treatments (ADRTs), or ‘living wells’, information in the past week as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Usha Grieve, director of information and partnerships at Compassion in Dying, said: “Coronavirus has prompted people to consider putting plans in place for their future care and treatment for the first time.
“We have heard from people who are concerned about surviving the virus with a poorer quality of life than they current have, and want to explore how to express their wishes clearly to their loved ones and doctors.”
ADRTs are documents people can sign to refuse certain treatments such as ventilation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and antibiotics.
An anonymous GP said the lack of medical options for some older people meant having to provide palliative care and the discussion of end of life pathways.