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Case Report: Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) deactivation in palliative care - a case involving best interest decisions for someone lacking capacity at the end of life

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/01/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>AMRC Open Research
Issue number4
Volume3
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)1-4
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) has increased due to benefits of preventing death from cardiac arrhythmia. However, the increasing use of ICDs has created new challenges for how to proactively manage deactivation of these devices in people who are dying, especially for those who lack capacity to make decisions about their care. The aim of this case report is to discuss the challenges of planning for deactivation of an ICD for a patient who lacked capacity at the end of life.
We describe the challenges of managing ICD deactivation in a dying patient with fluctuating capacity who had previously expressed a wish for the ICD to remain active. Although it is preferable to use advance care planning (ACP), to provide care in-line with patient-identified care preferences, we demonstrate how a best interest process can be used to make decisions about ICD deactivation at the end of life