As the use of medical technology has increased near the end of life, new challenges have arisen regarding the dying process. Prior to the development of medical devices that sustained life, people held a more circumspect view of mortality because there was no other choice. Legitimate questions should be raised about the potential overuse of medical technology, and this may be applicable to implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). ICDs are used to correct potentially fatal arrhythmias, but one question that has been inadequately addressed is whether implanting such a device should, at some point, be considered too burdensome despite limited benefit. ICDs ought to be reconsidered under the circumstance of advanced age, and the challenges related to health literacy, acceptance of death, and resource allocation related to this technology must be addressed to avoid burdensome cardiac care that does not improve the quality of life.


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pp. 198-205
Launched on MUSE
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