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5 November 2013, 09:28 | Updated: 5 November 2013, 09:34
Bournemouth Hospital has apologised after staff signed a 'Do Not Attempt Resuscitation' form for an elderly woman without her family's permission.
It means if she had stopped breathing, she would have been left to die.
The hospital says it is carrying out a full investigation to find out what happened.
They have released this statement:
"When a clinical decision needs to be made that CPR should not be attempted, and the patient is not able to do this, relatives must be consulted. They may be able to help by indicating what the patient would decide if able to do so.
"On this occasion this discussion did not happen, for which we sincerely apologise. The reasons why this did not happen and why proper processes for communicating with next of kin were not followed are being investigated.
"We have not received any communication from the patient's family and we will therefore be contacting them to clearly understand their concerns and help us carry out a thorough investigation and learn from this. Further education for staff on this part of the patient pathway would form part of this improvement."