Sunday, June 20, 2010

NYT Sunday Magazine: Turning Off Pacemakers

The New York Times Sunday magazine published a must-read article for any hospice or palliative care professional.  I just read it this evening after receiving a couple of tips from Pallimed readers* and don't have time to do the analysis tonight before the email goes out. Hopefully Lyle or I will likely get to covering the article in more detail later this week.


Some of the issues covered include:

  • family decision to deactivate a pacemaker
  • cardiologists insisting on implantation
  • cardiologists refusing (on moral grounds) to deactivate a pacemaker
  • getting palliative care and later hospice involved in a patient with advancing dementia
  • the widower effect on mortality
  • informed consent
  • the distant adult child effect
  • living wills
  • out of hospital DNR orders and bracelets
  • deciding on nursing home placement
  • lack of effective professional-to-professional communication
  • caregiver exhaustion

See. I told you that you must read it.

If you want to start commenting here before we do the full post later this week, feel free.

*A tip of my hat for the leads to Mary M. (via email), @hospicedoctor (Twitter), @BradHStuart (Twitter), @DianeEMeier (Twitter)