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Dr Zoë Fritz

  • College positions:

    Director of Studies in Clinical Medicine and Bye-Fellow

  • Subject:


MA (Gonville and Caius College, University Cambridge), MBBS (Honours) (Imperial College), PhD in Health Sciences (University of Warwick).

Research interests

Dr Zoë Fritz is a Wellcome fellow in Society and Ethics, and a Consultant Physician in Acute medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.  Her research is focused on identifying areas of clinical practice that raise ethical questions and applying rigorous empirical and ethical analysis to explore the issues and find effective solutions. The output from her research on problems with Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Orders has led to the development of an alternative approach to resuscitation decision making - the ReSPECT process - which is being implemented in many NHS Trusts, alongside further evaluation and 4-nations development strategy which she is leading.

She has also worked, on a secondment fellowship, at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. There she produced a briefing document on managing patients in minimally conscious and persistent vegetative states. This has contributed to a recent change in practice direction 9E and the approach to withdrawing Clinically assisted nutrition and hydration in those in a persistent vegetative state.

She is currently researching how clinicians make decisions to refer and admit patients to ICU; working with colleagues in the Faculty of Philosophy on the relationship between trust, questioning and the issue of “Too Much Medicine’; and considering issues of when nondisclosure is morally permissible in a medical setting. She has recently secured a Wellcome Trust University Award (the first awarded to Cambridge University) to investigate how we communicate and record uncertainty around diagnosis, particularly in the acute care setting. The award will enable her to collaborate with those in the departments of law and philosophy and provide grounding for future interdisciplinary research to improve medical practice.

Teaching interests

Medical Ethics and Clinical Medicine.

As Director of Studies of Clinical Medicine along with John Latimer, she enjoys looking after Caius medical students in their 4th, 5th and 6th years. 

Other interests

Music, tennis, and theatre – as both participant and audience in all three. 

Contributing to children’s books about the body and – most recently – about going to hospital. 

Publications (from the last 5 years)

Resuscitation policy should focus on the patient, not the decision
Zoë Fritz, Anne-Marie Slowther, Gavin Perkins
BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 28 February 2017) PMC5330195

Emergency care and resuscitation plans
David Pitcher, Zoë Fritz, Madeleine Wang, Juliet A Spiller,
BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 28 February 2017) 

Can ‘Best Interests’ redirect the trolley? Examining withdrawal of Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration in patients in a Permanent Vegetative State - Zoe Fritz  J Med Ethics. 2016 Aug 31. pii: medethics-2015-103045. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2015-103045. [Epub ahead of print]

Should non-disclosures be considered as morally equivalent to lies within the doctor-patient relationship?" Cox, C. L. and Z. Fritz (2016). J Med Ethics 2016  42(10): 632-635.

Themes and Variations: An exploratory international investigation into resuscitation decision-making  Resuscitation Alex Gibbs, Alexandra Malyon, Zoe Fritz 2016  Resuscitation 103: 75-81.

Do-not-attempt-cardiopulmonary-resuscitation decisions: an evidence synthesis. Health Serv Deliv Res 2016;4(11) Perkins GD, Griffiths F, Slowther A-M, George R, Fritz Z, Satherley P, et al.

Development of the Universal Form of Treatment Options (UFTO) as an alternative to Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) orders: a cross-disciplinary approach. Fritz Z, Fuld J. J Eval Clin Pract. 2015 Feb;21(1):109-17.

Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) orders: A systematic review of the barriers and facilitators of decision-making and implementation', Mockford C, Fritz Z, George R, Court R, Grove A, Clarke B, Field R, Perkins G Resuscitation, 2015 88 (1) 99 - 113

DNACPR decisions: challenging and changing practice in the wake of the Tracey judgment. Fritz Z, Cork N, Dodd A, Malyon A. Clin Med. 2014 Dec;14(6):571-6.

Patients’ resuscitation preferences in context: Lessons from POLST Zoë B. McC. Fritz, Stephen I. Barclay, Resuscitation  2014 85 (4): 444-445

Documentation of resuscitation decision-making: A survey of practice in the United Kingdom Meredith Clements, , Jonathan Fuld, Zoë Fritz, Resuscitation 2014 85 (4) 606-611

Characteristics and outcome of patients with DNACPR orders in an acute hospital; an observational study. Fritz ZB, Heywood RM, Moffat SC, Bradshaw LE, Fuld JP Resuscitation 85 (2014) 104–108

The Universal Form of Treatment Options (UFTO) as an Alternative to Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) Orders: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of the Effects on Clinical Practice and Patient Care. Fritz Z, Malyon A, Frankau JM, Parker RA, Cohn S, Laroche CM, Palmer CR, Fuld JP PLoS One 2013;8(9):e70977.

Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation orders in acute medical settings: a qualitative study. Cohn S, Fritz ZB, Frankau JM, Laroche CM, Fuld JP. QJM 2013 Feb;106(2):165-77.

Towards 'sepsis with optimal treatment': evaluating the sepsis care pathway in acute medicine and identifying scope for systems improvement. Meyer J, Fritz Z, Burton H, Ward C, Simpson A, Ahmed V. Acute Med 2013;12(1):5-12.