Ideally, you’ll be able to discuss your views about CPR with your medical team. You’ll be able to say whether you would, or would not, prefer to have CPR if a cardiac or respiratory arrest occurs. However, it's important to remember that in most situations, and particularly when a cancer is very advanced, CPR is not often successful. Doctors will tell you if they feel there’s little chance of CPR working in your situation.
If there has not been any discussion about CPR between a person and their medical team, and their heart or breathing suddenly stops, the decision about whether or not to attempt CPR is made on medical grounds.
If a person states that they don't want CPR to be attempted, their decision is final. The medical team can only override the decision of the person in very rare circumstances, where the individual is considered not to be of 'sound mind' – for example, if they have a serious mental illness or are confused or disorientated.
Thinking about and discussing CPR can be very difficult. You may want to talk things over with your medical team, specialist nurses, or spiritual carers such as your chaplain or priest.
Some people feel they can't make the decision themselves and may want their doctor to make it for them.