Cardiac implantable electrical devices: bioethics and management issues near the end of life

Ochsner J. 2011 Winter;11(4):342-7.


Cardiac implantable electrical devices (CIEDs) are extremely sophisticated modern devices that provide patients with many beneficial effects, including increased survival and enhanced quality of life. CIEDs, however, may complicate and unnecessarily prolong the process of dying from terminal illnesses. A rational plan for CIED deactivation near the end of life should therefore be carefully drawn up well in advance by the patient in concert with loved ones and treating physicians.

Keywords: Cardiac implantable electrical device; defibrillator; end of life; pacemaker.