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Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (TCDs), which package the wallop of external defibrillators in pager-sized appliances, save lives. But the serious mental and social consequences that may follow implantation raise ethical questions for both manufacturers and healthcare providers. This paper discusses the quality of life patients have after a defibrillator implantation. Cases of panic disorder with agoraphobia, dependence and depression were observed in patients. These ICD patients deserve better treatment. Just as it would be unethical not to warn them of the possibility of infection and not to have a course of antibiotics at the ready, so it is unethical not to prepare them for other possible side effects that can have severe life-altering impacts on their quality of life.
Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE (Volume:26 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May-June 2007