'Upfront and honest' GP defends his decision to tell high-risk patients: You can stay home (but you may die)

A controversial GP was in a new row last night after asking his high-risk patients if they want to refuse life-saving hospital treatment for coronavirus and die at home instead.
Dr Andy Knox denies trying to 'coerce' people into choosing to die, and says it is vital to be 'up-front and honest' and 'face the reality' of Covid-19.
But a video on his blog tells high-risk patients their GPs want to know how they wish to be treated if they get the virus.

Dr Andy Knox (pictured) denies trying to 'coerce' people into choosing to die, and says it is vital to be 'up-front and honest' and 'face the reality' of Covid-19
Dr Andy Knox (pictured) denies trying to 'coerce' people into choosing to die, and says it is vital to be 'up-front and honest' and 'face the reality' of Covid-19

It asks if they want: 
  • To stay at home 'even if it means you won't get better'
  • To refuse to be put on a ventilator if they are in hospital and cannot breathe; 
  • Not to be brought back to life if their heart stops.
The film, posted on Dr Knox's website, Reimagining Health, suggests they tackle other 'difficult' matters, such as making up with friends or family they have fallen out with. 
'Perhaps there are conversations you need to have, old hurts that need to be forgiven, things that need to be put right,' he says.
Dr Knox is a Lancashire GP who is director of population for Morecambe Bay. In 2017, he had to apologise after wrongly claiming there was a surge of rickets cases in Morecambe and linking it to poverty.
A video on his blog tells high-risk patients their GPs want to know how they wish to be treated if they get the virus
A video on his blog tells high-risk patients their GPs want to know how they wish to be treated if they get the virus
Morecambe MP David Morris said: 'This film is highly irresponsible because it gives the impression that if people get coronavirus they should not fight it, just accept their fate.'
Lancashire county councillor Charles Edwards said a young 'high-risk category' Morecambe resident told him they 'felt suicidal' after watching the film.
'They thought it was saying that if they get the virus they will be a burden to the NHS and forfeit a hospital bed,' said Mr Edwards, who called for Dr Knox to be sacked.
But a source close to Dr Knox said many people had praised his film. One thanked him 'for allowing people to make an informed decision for themselves rather than have the decision made for them'.
In a separate incident, NHS chiefs in Wales apologised after a GP surgery asked seriously ill patients to fill in 'do not resuscitate' forms in case their health deteriorated after contracting coronavirus.
Llynfi surgery in Maesteg asked some patients to complete a 'do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation' form to ensure emergency services were not called if they contracted Covid-19 and their condition deteriorated.
In Dr Knox's video, the GP says: 'Many people will get this virus and some of us will become very unwell.'
It was time for those in the 'high-risk category to talk about care planning, or anticipatory care'.
Both terms are used to describe palliative care for patients close to death.
Dr Knox declined to comment. Asked to explain why he made the video, his spokesman said: 'These questions are answered in the film.' 

'Upfront and honest' GP defends his decision to tell high-risk patients: You can stay home (but you may die) 'Upfront and honest' GP defends his decision to tell high-risk patients: You can stay home (but you may die) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:16 Rating: 5

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