I was doing an A&E Support shift the other day. In theory here, we (St. John) can be used to respond to anything, but in practice, we generally do Patient transport work and attend Dr's Urgents.
We were driving past Home City Hospital, when the radio call went out:
"All units, General Broadcast. Are any units clear near Home City Hospital to back up the ECP to an outstanding cardiac arrest?"
I look at my partner "We're going to have to shout up for this one, aren't we"
Just at that moment, another crew offers to take it, and we breath a joint sigh of relief.
Then we hear it
"Be advised, CPR is being refused by the parents"
"Shit, glad that's not us!"
I didn't go, but it bothered me somewhat. What kind of parents can refuse CPR on their own child? Now, fair enough, their may have been an extenuating reason - perhaps the child was terminally ill, with an awful quality of life - but surely in these circumstances, there should have been a DNR or a Living Will present. Perhaps there was, but I imagine that, if there had, control would have said this rather than that the parents were refusing CPR.
Is this grossly unfair of me - yes, I know of the existence of DNRs and Living Wills, but is their existence common knowledge?