Millions of people have pacemakers and/or defibrillators implanted to assist with cardiovascular issues. If you are one of these people it is important to be aware of the end of life decisions that come with these devices. An article in the New Old Age section of the New York Times recently spoke to this issue. Eventually the question will be asked, “Do I keep it going? Do I turn it off?” Many people do not consider these options while they are in relatively good health, a surrogate is often left making the decision at a time when the patient can no longer do so. This can be a difficult decision to make on someone’s behalf so it is important that you discuss this personal decision with your health care proxy so that they can carry out your wishes with peace of mind. You should also discuss your wishes with your doctor and with an elder law attorney who can finalize your wishes in your advanced directives.
To read the full article from the New York Times that speaks more about the decisions surrounding pacemakers and defibrillators please click on the following link: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/a-decision-deferred-turning-off-the-pacemaker/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0