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Family takes 'do not resuscitate' case to appeal court

The family of a woman who was not consulted before a "do not resuscitate" notice was placed on her medical records return to court this week pushing for a change in national policy.

The husband and daughters of Janet Tracey, who died of lung cancer at Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge three years ago, want medics to be obliged to consult patients and relatives before making decisions on whether resuscitation should be attempted.

Mrs Tracey's family were distressed when a "do not resuscitate" notice was put in her records without their knowledge.

Janet Tracey died at Addenbrooke's hospital in March 2011. Credit: PA

The instruction was removed after the family complained, before being restored - with their consultation - two days before the 63-year-old's death in March 2011.

Addenbrooke's Hospital says its doctors acted in Mrs Tracey's best interests.

Kate Masters, one of Tracey's four daughters, said: "How someone's end of life is handled really does live with the family forever."

The family's solicitor, Merry Varney from Leigh Day, said: "This is about the decision-making process, and the rights of patients to be involved in how those decisions are made."

The case is being heard at the court of appeal after judges overturned a 2012 high court decision that it should go no further.