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Society addresses ICD and pacemaker deactivation
Consensus statement offers guidance
A first of its kind consensus statement released by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), developed in collaboration with other medical groups on both sides of the Atlantic, offers detailed guidance for physicians, allied professionals, and others in managing the complex issues they face when patients with pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are nearing the end of life or ask for device deactivation.
The document outlines the rights of patients and providers; the importance of clear communication; a consistent process for withdrawing device therapy; and the ethical, legal, and religious principles behind it.
Another major section of the statement describes the communication needs of patients and providers and provides guidance on how to fulfill them. Communication with the patient and families needs to be timely and effective, according to the authors. Appropriate language for the conversation is suggested in the statement.
To see a copy of the statement go to www.hrsonline.org. Select "Health Policy" on the left navigational bar. Choose "Clinical Guidance." Under the "most recent additions" link, select the link to "Expert Consensus Statement on Management of CIEDS."