Many Accident & Emergency (A & E) nurses will be familiar with the situation of resuscitating an individual who may be, for example, a husband, father or son. When the severity of illness gives rise to question the probability of continuing life, what about the relatives - those people who hold most importance to that individual? The relatives are sometimes unaware of the sudden illness and can be left isolated in the realisation that their loved one has died, and they were not there. How often are relatives there when an individual dies suddenly in the A & E department? These emotive factors led to this discussion and study of the attitudes of hospital and ambulance staff towards permitting relatives to be present during a resuscitation.