Death, Dieing and Pacemakers

While I am not an expert in dieing rather a person who attends to the dieing via volunteering at a hospice here in my city; I see a lot of families, hear lots of questions and see a lot of compassion, love, grieving and happiness as we journey to our final act in life dieing.  Would you want to know…

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about what we should share with our loved ones that are in the process by dieing. The family of the dieing person did not want to tell the dieing parent that they were going to have the pacemaker, (inserted 20 or so years ago), shut off. It is a simple procedure done in the doctors office where a magnet is passed over the pacemaker and it dis-alarms it.

Pacemakers put into the body at 50 or 60 when life is still ahead of us keeps us alive. However when our bodies have disintegrated , our friends and loved one have passed on; and we are at the dawn of our own death, is it acceptable even honorable to turn the pacemaker off?

While this is an acceptable procedure as we are facing death, not turning the pace maker off it will continue to revive the dieing when the body is ready to pass on. Sometimes this pacemaker reviving the heart is even unknown to the family, a forgotten procedure done decades ago. The question here was should the well intended caregiver, an adult child of the dieing person tell the parent they are going to have the pacemaker turned off.

After much thought, If I were in charge of my faculties at this part of my life I would want to know, I would want to make the decision after all it’s my life and my death. Wonder how you would feel. Would you want to know, would it matter to you?

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