Report: Children with learning disabilities offered ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders during pandemic

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The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author, a retired police chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

GREAT BRITAIN- Sick…that’s all we can say about the revelation that British children were actually given “DNRs”—Do Not Resuscitate—orders during the height of the COVID pandemic, apparently for no other reason than because they had learning disabilities according to parents, as reported in Breitbart.

According to The Telegraph, Britain’s socialized National Health Service (NHS) officials attempted to give kids with learning disabilities the DNR notices, typically reserved for those suffering from terminal illnesses.

This revelation comes after earlier reports noted that adults with learning disabilities and mental illnesses were also given DNR notices, which apparently caused the death of at least one person.

DNR notices are typically used to notify either emergency services or healthcare staff not to provide medical treatment from a patient who are mortally injured and are usually given to people who are extremely frail or as stated above, suffer from a terminal illness such as cancer or ALS.

In Britain, such orders can either be requested by a patient or a doctor can assign one to a patient without their permission, according to the NHS website. The site has a notice which reads:

“You must be told that a DNACPR form will be /has been completed for you but a doctor does not need your consent.”

Chilling.

Now The Telegraph has found that general practitioners actually asked children with learning disabilities if they wanted DNR orders as a means to lighten pressure on Britain’s socialized medicine system, apparently by eliminating the need to treat those with learning disabilities.

Just by virtue of the fact that these children were learning disabled would raise the question if they were even cognitively able to understand what they were being asked to consent to.

Remember—socialized medicine is what leftist Democrats such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, the squad, and others are asking for in the United States. This is your future, America if these American Marxists get their wish.

In Britain, one woman named Debbie Corns told The Telegraph that her son Oliver, who has a learning disability and suffers from congenital autism, was asked if he wanted a DNAR notice by a GP (general practitioner) and initially consented, because he didn’t understand what it meant.

Corns said she intervened when she learned her son had signed the consent, and made sure her son didn’t receive the DNAR notice.

She noted that several days afterward, she and her husband asked Oliver, “If your heart stopped, would you like the doctors to try to save your life or would you like to die?”

Oliver went upstairs and returned about 20 minutes later as he was leaving for school, whereby he looked at her husband and said, “Dad, save my life.”

“He said it several times over the next few days. It broke our hearts. With the right language, support, and time, he did understand. He had time to think about it. When the doctor asked, he couldn’t consent properly.”

Corns complained that “the doctor devalued [her son’s] life.” She also noted that had she not been present when the NHS was seeing Oliver, he would not have been safe.

“Imagine he went to [the] hospital after an accident by himself. We would have lost control of his healthcare and they might not have resuscitated him,” she said.

The Telegraph said the general practitioner had since apologized (after being caught) and claimed the doctor who mentioned the DNAR notice had “done so in error.”

However, this does not seem to be an anomaly or “one off.” According to another parent, she told the outlet that she had been asked if she wanted a DNAR notice for her 16-year-old Downs Syndrome son, calling the question “disgusting” and “very upsetting.”

It is reported that giving the DNAR notices to those with learning disabilities may be in violation of something called the “Equalities Act of 2010,” which protects those individuals with disabilities from discrimination in healthcare.

In addition, when the pandemic started in 2020, NHS England actually had to remind medical professionals in England that learning disabilities “should never be a reason for issuing a DNAR order.”

That’s socialized medicine for you…you actually have to remind doctors to basically not euthanize people with learning disabilities.

Sadly, that didn’t prevent the death of Sonia Deleon, 58, who died of a heart attack in April 2020. No CPR was performed on her due to an “error” in issuing a DNAR order due to her learning disabilities.

The NHS said that her learning disability wasn’t the reason for the DNAR, but rather her “frailty” and “multiple co-morbidities.”

“When they gave my sister the DNAR, they were basically writing her off,” said Deleon’s sister, Sally Rose Cyrille. “It was like they were saying, she’s got a learning disability, why are we even bothering.”

The Telegraph said it is unknown how many learning disabled British citizens were given DNAR notices, noting that there are over “1.5 million people with a learning disability” who live in the UK, and medical records are classified, therefore it will likely never be known how widespread the practice is.

The scandal first became known last October, and Mencap, a leading charity for learning disabled Brits released a statement in which they asserted the right of people with learning disabilities “to equal access to healthcare just like anyone else.”

In addition, the organization slammed the “potentially unlawful use” of DNR notices for “fit and healthy people with a learning disability” during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it “discriminatory” and saying it was “literally put[ting] their lives in danger.”

Under questioning before the House of Lords in October 2020, the Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, Lord James Bethell, said:

“My Lords, the department [of health] is very clear that the blanket use of DNACPR and DNR is unacceptable. An agreement to a DNACPR is an individual decision and should involve the person concerned or, where the person lacks capacity, their family, career, guardian or any other legally recognised advocate.”

Under questioning, Bethell said it was “completely unacceptable for any group of people to have blanket DNACPR provisions apply to them.”

Thus far, nobody has been prosecuted for DNAR orders given solely for people with learning disabilities.

Using such orders to “take pressure off the NHS” has been compared to “eugenics” and has raised claims it is similar to what occurred in Nazi Germany, where involuntary euthanasia was imposed upon disabled people.

According to disability advocate and writer Gus Alexiou, the “Aktion T4” program was used by the Nazis to murder over 70,000 children and adults with disabilities. Such individuals “were starved to death, gassed, shot, given lethal injections and fatal overdoses of drugs by medial staff,” The Guardian reported.

The Nazis justified the killings committed under the T4 program, claiming those killed were a “burden on the state and a waste of resources.”

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

For more on what’s going on “across the pond,” we invite you to read one of our prior reports on crime in Wales, part of Great Britain. 

DIG DEEPER

Just because guns are outlawed or extremely difficult to obtain lawfully in a portion of a country, it doesn’t mean that violent crime magically stops.

In fact, England and Wales have seen a recent spike in the number of knife-related crimes which has resulted in a record high.

While they tout the fact that they carry some of the strictest gun laws, the respective countries have seen a seven percent increase in crimes involving knives versus the previous year.

The Office for National Statistics reported new data that showed in the year to September, police had documented 44,771 knife crime offenses. With England and Wales reporting 617 homicides for 2019, it was revealed that 40 percent of the murders committed were enacted via a knife or sharp object.

Helen Ross from the Office for National Statistics Centre for Crime and Justice noted that while crime statistics have remained stagnant, the means offenses were committed displayed troubling insight:

“In the last year, there has been no change in overall levels of crime, however, this hides variations in different types of crime.

For example, there have been continued rises in fraud, vehicle offences and robbery, and decreases in burglary and homicide. Although the number of offences involving a knife has continued to increase, there is a mixed picture across police forces”.

The reported figures omitted data from Greater Manchester, as there’s data logging discrepancies within the region. Nonetheless, the increases in knives being used to commit crimes shows an alarming trend within the United Kingdom.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan acknowledged the increases in violence within England and elsewhere:

“The scourge of violent crime is still rising — and faster elsewhere than here in London. The only solution is to be both tough on crime & on the causes. When will the Government finally fully reverse their cuts to the police, youth services, schools, sports facilities & councils?”

Despite the mayor noting that violence is seeing an uptick in his region, the mayor isn’t exactly leaving a great legacy behind.

Child stabbings within the capital have reached an 11-year high as of November 2019, while the murder rate in London skyrocketed to a decade high as well. Just this past week, three men were murdered from one single knife attack in London.

Street gangs have been reportedly stashing knives and various weapons throughout Britain, according to Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Hill.

British police have been making knife crime prevention a priority lately, but gang members have been utilizing playgrounds and parks to hide weapons and avoid detection from stop-and-search tactics taken by police.

Hill also mentioned that during a city sweep of north London, police had recovered knives, swords, and a machete in a single playground in Islington:

“These knives could have fallen into the wrong hands; worse, they could have been acquired by young children.”

Martin Griffiths, a trauma surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, said that criminals using knives in their crimes are employing more lethal and disfiguring methods in their attacks. While speaking with the BBC, Griffiths stated the following:

“We’re seeing more complex wounds in areas where bits join together on the body, junctional areas, like the neck and the groin, and that suggests a movement towards more severe wounds and more numbers of wounds. We’re seeing more victims with multiple injuries.”

Griffiths is hopeful that these trauma patients are just an anomaly in increased admittance. However, his concerns note that there’s a possibility that violent criminals have learned to better utilize their means to enact harm:

“I hope it’s just a blip, but I worry there’s a change in attitude towards knife injuries. That people are becoming better educated in how to cause damage.”

While many are becoming maimed through these types of assaults, murder levels have not grown at the rate of crimes involving knives. This can be heavily attributed to the fact that London’s trauma surgeons have become better equipped to saves lives after these kinds of vicious attacks.

A 2018 study that was reported by Breitbart London found that over 1,600 murders were prevented over a decades-time, after an increase in surgeons with military battlefield experience landed in London hospitals.  

Take a look at the data from back here in the U.S. that’s undermining the media’s narrative:

According to the FBI, more than five times as many people were killed in 2018 by knives, clubs and other cutting instruments than with rifles.

The metrics show that there were a total of 1,515 deaths by knives or other cutting instruments last year. Compare that against 297 people killed by rifles.

lights_shooting_crime_scene_cruiser
(Flickr)

It’s a gap that widened significantly over 2017.  In that year, the FBI said nearly four times as many people were stabbed to death as killed with rifles.  During that year, the number of murders with rifles was around 400.

It gets better.  More than 100 more people were killed with hammers and clubs in 2018 than were killed by rifles.  There were 443 people killed with hammers, clubs, or other “blunt objects”.

We need to point out that the data isn’t just semiautomatic rifles – it’s ALL rifles, including bolt action, pump or lever action rifles as well.

FBI reveals data that media buried: More people killed with knives, hammers, clubs and even feet than rifles
FBI reveals data that media buried: More people killed with knives, hammers, clubs and even feet than rifles

If you were to contrast the numbers between JUST semiautomatic rifles and knife homicides, the gap would be even larger.

Here’s another number that will blow your mind.  The data also shows that in 2018, there were 672 deaths from “fists, feet and other ‘personal weapons’” – which is once again more than with rifles. 

In 2017, there were 692 people killed in the same way – a number larger than the total number of homicides by rifles and shotguns combined.

Yet you’ve got Democrat presidential hopeful Robert “Beto” O’Rourke campaigning on the confiscation of AR-15’s. 

beto_o'rourke_2020
Beto: “Hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!” (Flickr)

Remember – last month during a Democrat debate, he said:

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.”

Numbers from the National Shooting Sports Foundation show that there are more than 16 million privately owned AR-15s in the United States.

Let’s look at the bigger picture, based on some 2016 data.

A screenshot of a cell phone Description automatically generated

Rifles are only used in a small fraction of murders committed using firearms.

FBI data from that year showed that more than 7,100 people were killed using handguns, and that the vast majority of non-fatal crimes involving guns are also committed using handguns.

2012 study offers interesting reflections by a New Jersey intelligence center, which works in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Semiautomatic handguns are the weapon of choice for mass shootings,” the report notes.

According to the CDC, in 2017, six-in-ten gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides (23,854), while 37% were murders (14,542). 

The rest were either unintentional (486), involved law enforcement (553) or had undetermined circumstances (338).

In 2017, gun suicides reached their highest recorded level … yet the number of gun murders remained far below the peak in 1993, when there were 18,253 gun homicides.  Also during that time, overall violent crime levels in the U.S. were much higher than they are today.

(Photo is in public domain from Health.mil)
(Photo – Health.mil)

And although 2017 also brought the highest total number of gun deaths in America, it doesn’t account for the growing population of the country.

When you break that down on a per-capita basis, we’re talking about 12 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2017 – the highest rate in more than two decades, but still well below the 16.3 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 1974, the highest rate in the CDC’s online database.

Suicides have long accounted for the majority of U.S. gun deaths.

Let’s dive further into that. 

Both the gun murder and gun suicide rates in America are both below where they were in the mid-1970’s. In 2017, there were 4.6 gun murders per 100,000 people – considerably below the 7.2 per 100,000 people in 1974.

In 2017, there were 6.9 gun suicides per 100,000 people – that number was 7.7 in 1977.

The overarching idea behind the “gun-control” debate is this: The left wants to take away every last ability for citizens to defend themselves. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Recently, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.”

That hearing covered issues that were framed to overlook the false narrative that Americans need protection from inanimate objects, and not from violent people with criminal tendencies. People who will use anything and everything at their disposal to carry out their violent plans.

The hearing also revealed the true agenda of the Democratic leadership, which was to lay out arguments In favor of the repealing of the 2ndAmendment, the illegalization of weapons ownership, and the left’s complete refusal to engage in useful conversation regarding how Congress might attack the issue of gun safety.

Easily the most eye-opening claim of the proceedings came when Dr. RaShall Brackney, Chief of the Charlottesville Police Department in Virginia responded to a question from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) about whether she would support a ban on hunting rifles.

“I believe any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned,” Brackney replied.

Umm…what?

Her statement seemed to indicate that she would be open to the banning of all firearms, and more specifically, all weapons.

So, for those keeping score at home, here is a list of items that would also need to be banned, according to the good doctor.

“I believe any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned,” Brackney replied.
“I believe any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned,” Brackney replied.

Guns. Knives. Vehicles. Baseball bats. Fire. Rocks. Rope. Screwdrivers. Hammers. Hands. The list goes on and on.

While Brackney did not actually call for a ban of these other items, that is essentially what she is doing in using such careless language. 

According to the NRA, Dr. Brackney was given two opportunities by pro-gun committee members to walk back or provide more context for that statement. Instead, she dug in and reiterated the statement.  

Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) asked her directly, “Okay, so you then stand for the proposition to ban any type of firearm, because any firearm can be used and misused to kill people.”

Rather than answering the question directly, Dr. Brackney began talking about police and the social contract. Rep. Steube tried asking again, only to be interrupted by an anti-gun committee member who tried to raise a point of order.

She claimed that Rep. Steube was “attacking” the witness – when in fact he was merely trying to get a straight answer – and requested that he “tone down his words.” That exchange took up most of Steube’s remaining time for questioning, which was not reinstated.

Again Rep. Steube tried, to clarify, asking:

“Any type of weapon … that can be used to kill people should be banned?”

And then the response…

“Sir,” Brackney replied, “you’re adding the word ‘type.’ I said ‘any weapons,’ so that’s my answer. Thank you.”

Sadly, none of the committee members or witnesses in favor of the ban attempted to distance themselves from Brackney’s push for a complete gun ban.

Okay, let’s pause here for a quick question.

Does anyone else have an issue with Dr. Police Chief saying that all means of self-defense should be outlawed, while sitting on the side of the table that would be allowed to keep weapons should the government ever follow her advice? 

Unfortunately, Dr. Brackney’s statements may have been one of the only honest claims of the entire hearing by those arguing in favor of the ban.

In an outright misrepresentation (or as we like to call them, lies), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a Harvard Law School graduate, told a breathtaking whopper about the U.S. Supreme Court’s pivotal Second Amendment decision, District of Columbia v. Heller:

He claimed the decision says, “the Second Amendment gives you a right to a handgun for purposes of self-defense and a rifle for purposes of hunting or recreation, but nowhere does it give you a right to weapons of war.”

In a very concise breakdown, the NRA said that the essence of theHeller decision is that Americans have a right to possess the sorts of bearable arms “in common use for lawful purposes,” particularly self-defense, and that handguns qualify because they are overwhelmingly chosen by responsible, law-abiding persons for that purpose.

Notably, the decision does not purport to overturn the 1939 Supreme Court case of U.S. v. Miller, which held that the Second Amendment protection extends to arms that are “part of the ordinary military equipment” or the use of which “could contribute to the common defense.”

It also notes that while Americans of the founding era might have owned firearms primarily for self-defense and hunting, the founders themselves wanted to ensure the Second Amendment provided an effective check against disarming the people, which in turn was necessary to “be able to resist tyranny.”

Nowhere does either decision suggest that rifles are only protected to the extent they are used for hunting or recreation. Indeed, Heller makes clear that self-defense is the “core lawful purpose” with which the Second Amendment is concerned.

Another theme pushed again and again was that “assault weapons” like the AR-15 are “battlefield weapons” that have no place on “America’s streets.”

Fortunately, as witness Amy Swearer testified, the overwhelmingly majority of the 16 million or so AR and AK pattern rifles in America are not “on the streets” but in the homes of law-abiding owners who never have and never will use them for anything other than lawful purposes.

combat veterans
An armed guard protects a school. (MSA Guardians – YouTube)

Violent criminals have not embraced semi-automatic rifles as their “weapons of choice.”

Rifles of all types, of which the guns that would be categorized as “assault weapons” are only a subset, are used in only 2% of homicides. In 2018, more than five times as many people were killed with knives than were killed with all rifles.

The same year, more than twice as many people were killed with personal weapons like hands, fists, or feet.

Remember the list of potentially banned items, I forgot to add feet.

When all was said and done, gun owners had no reassurance that there was any limiting principle to the anti-gun committee members’ prohibitive intentions or that they were willing to learn anything that would influence their decision-making.

Indeed, one could imagine that long after semi-automatic rifles were banned, the exact same hearing could be held on the next class of firearm law-abiding gun owners would be forced to surrender because the guns were used in crimes they did not commit.

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