Sunday, December 17, 2006

Defibrillators Disrupt Peaceful Dying

Cardiac defibrillator implants -- small, internal versions of the paddles that emergency rooms use to shock patients' malfunctioning hearts -- are saving many lives. But in some cases they also are making the act of dying harder, forcing terminally ill patients and families to make wrenching decisions about turning them off. The devices subject some dying patients to painful jolts and can prolong suffering, traumatizing loved ones as the devices fire fruitlessly.

More from the Washington Post article here.

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