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Clinical ethics report on the resuscitation of a patient in the emergency department with an uncertain resuscitation status and an implantable cardiac defibrillator
  1. Gregory Neal-Smith1,
  2. Adam Crellin2,
  3. Rebekah Caseley1
  1. 1A&E, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Medical Sciences Division, Oxford University Medical School, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Gregory Neal-Smith, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; gregnealsmith{at}


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation of a patient with an uncertain resuscitation status, and a discharging implantable cardiac defibrillator, presents a significant ethical challenge to healthcare professionals in the emergency department. Presently, no literature discusses these challenges or their implications for ethical healthcare delivery. This report will discuss the issues that arose during the management of such a case and attempt to raise awareness among healthcare professionals to ensure better preparation for similar situations.

  • clinical ethics
  • emergency medicine
  • death
  • education for healthcare professionals
  • end-of-life care

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  • Contributors All three authors were involved in the clinical case. All fulfilled ICMJE Recommendations 2018 for authorship. GN-S is the corresponding author for the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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