Inertia of Clinical Practice: Impact of Tracey on DNACPR Discussions

It has been nearly ten months since the UK Court of Appeals handed down its judgment in Tracey v. Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  

Some predicted that the decision would have “far-reaching implications for clinical practice.”  But a recent study shows that “national coverage . . . did not lead to any significant difference in the documentation of DNACPR discussions.”  Indeed, “very few clinicians . . . were even aware of the case.”

The authors remarked on the “inertia of clinical practice” and the need to demonstrate the relevance of the ruling in a “targeted teaching session.”  In short, even a high profile appellate ruling is not enough to change clinical practice.  The appropriate changes and improvements must be deliberately “disseminated to the frontline individuals.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.