declining pacemaker

Once again, thank you to those who answered my question.  It's so comforting to know others have grappled with this issue.  My life is OK, and I'm not depressed, but I do not want to end up in rest home care, and I know that if I want to choose a peaceful death, waiting till I have to be put in a home is waiting too long - I'll no longer be capable of taking action.  I don't want to turn this post into an end-of-life discussion, as my original question was whether declining a pacemaker would mean my heart just gives out one day, but it seems it may not be that easy, especially if there's a risk of stroke, which everyone surely dreads.  


declining pacemaker

by susang - 2019-01-30 13:22:24

Thank you Swangirl.  I'm afraid in New Zealand where I live therapists charge at least $100 an hour and there's no way I can afford that.  I'm not religious so ministers are not in the picture.  I have no family at all, and I find friends get a bit weary of hearing about others' health problems.  This is partly why I'd be quite happy to have my life end - it seems a bit pointless to keep on going until something awful like a stroke happens.  But it's not easy to end a life.

Issues--someone to talk to

by Gotrhythm - 2019-01-30 13:59:20

As I've mentioned before, I"ve thought a lot about whether I will get another when this pacemaker needs replacing in 3-4 years. Mostly, I'm inclined to think I won't, because I have some of the issues you raise.

As to who you could talk to to help your sort through your options. I suggest Hospice. The Hopsice movement actually started in England and Hospices can be found worlwide. 

The people at Hospice are very familiar with end of life issues, and they have specific experience with terminal patients who have pacemakers, ICDs, etc. More than anyone else they could tell you what difference, if any, having a pacemaker would make.They offer counseling and are very willing to help people with end of life decisions.

Not all Hospices are the same, but in my locale, clients of Hospice never receive a bill for services (although their insurance might be billed.)

declining pacemaker

by susang - 2019-01-30 15:32:58

Thank you Got Rhythym.  I will contact Hospice - we do have them here in Auckland.  

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