Bryan Pilkington
University of Notre Dame
In this article, I argue that there is a moral difference between deactivating an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and turning off a cardiac pacemaker. It is, at least in most cases, morally permissible to deactivate an ICD. It is not, at least in most cases, morally permissible to turn off a pacemaker in a fully or significantly pacemaker-dependent patient. After describing the relevant medical technologies—pacemakers and ICDs—I continue with contrasting perspectives on the issue of deactivation from practitioners involved with these devices: physicians, nurses, and allied professionals. Next, I offer a few possible analyses of the situation, relying on recent work in medical ethics. Considerations of intention, responsibility, and replacement support my distinguishing between ICDs and CPs. I conclude by recommending a change in policy of one of the leading cardiac societies.
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhz031
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References found in this work BETA

Dignity, Health, and Membership: Who Counts as One of Us?Bryan C. Pilkington - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (2):115-129.

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Citations of this work BETA

Conceptual Clarity in Clinical Bioethical Analysis.J. Clint Parker - 2020 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (1):1-15.
Considerations of Conscience.Bryan Pilkington - 2021 - HEC Forum 33 (3):165-174.

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