I may be in the wrong saloon, but does anyone know what they will do WHEN I decide not to replace my battery? Will they remove it of simply turn it off? (Please don't chime in with "why" etc.)




by Gemita - 2020-09-11 23:05:19

Hello Slickman,

I am sorry your important post has got caught up in the middle of a rush of unwanted spam mail !

You have a right to decide not to receive medical treatment and that right extends to treatment with medical devices.  My understanding is that an ICD would need to be "deactivated", otherwise it might continue to shock you when you get severe symptoms.  Although it can be left in place when the battery expires, it would need to be removed for safety before a cremation when there would be a risk of explosion.




I suspect it will be more complicated than that

by crustyg - 2020-09-12 03:24:32

I think Gemita is entirely correct about needing your consent to have an ICD replaced due to the battery's end of life.

However I suspect that it may be more difficult for you to persuade your medical team to simply turn off your ICD when the device is otherwise functional, due to their concerns about being seen to be assisting suicide.  This isn't the forum to discuss right to end of life in a dignified way, however for your medical advisors a charge of aiding and abetting is a really big deal.

*ALL* implanted electronic devices must be removed before cremation - most countries have some sort of process as part of death registration where doctors have to attest that such explodable devices have been removed.


by ROBO Pop - 2020-09-12 04:22:43

The answer to your question depends on what your insurer says regarding extraction. My opinion is when the battery dies they'll leave it in unless medically necessary to extract.

FYI I had my defibrillator functions shut off, though the decision to do that may have been driven by the medical communities desire to get rid of me. I'm still paced 100% for comfort (my decision). In many states (US) they cannot legally shut off a pacemaker if you are pacemaker dependent, ie your heart will stop without the pacemaker. In my case I still have an underlying heart beat so I could have the pacing shut off as well.

And yes your ICD will be removed on death however that may be performed by the mortuary.

Removal of device

by Gemita - 2020-09-12 09:29:37

I have just read your thoughts under your Interests/Bio.  Oh dear, we haven't exactly seen eye to eye have we.  You sound very angry and will do exactly what you want to do, so good luck with that and hope you stay safe.  

5% pacing doesn't sound much, does it, but it may just be 5% necessary.  You do not actually say why the ICD was implanted but perhaps it was to protect you from a sudden cardiac arrest, to stop a dangerous arrhythmia or to support a failing heart ?  I presume you needed it at the time.

It sounds to me as though your relationship with your pacemaker team has completely broken down.  Have you considered getting a second opinion?  Perhaps another pacemaker team will see things differently, do things differently, implant a new system, or agree completely with you and remove all your hardware and help you to live your life the way you choose.  They might even suggest alternative treatment options more suited to your particularly lifestyle.  Anyway, these are just my thoughts too.  

You know you're wired when...

Muggers want your ICD, not your wallet.

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Pacemakers are very reliable devices.