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The Forum > Article Comments > Pacemaker abuse > Comments

Pacemaker abuse : Comments

By Helen Lobato, published 6/3/2009

Should we be inserting pacemakers and other medical devices while denying the inevitable decline and death of our ageing bodies?

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ďHumans are living longer than ever before and the number of old hearts requiring attention and repair is set to escalate.Ē

Yes, and thatís just another cause of over-population. Just how long do people want to live? By the time we are in our 80ís much of our equipment is worn out and, thanks to people interfering with nature, many parts can be replaced; but not enough to make dragging out another year or two worthwhile, surely. Particularly now when the brain tends to go before life stops, and they canít do anything about that Ė yet. They are trying, though.

Itís good to see someone prepared to bring this matter out into the open for discussion.
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 6 March 2009 10:44:09 AM
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Just adding to Leigh's point, this obsession with maintaining a human shell at all costs raises the question whether medicos involved in same are actually meeting their (apparently) supreme ethical standard as medical practitioners - to "do no harm".

One of my life goals is to teach my kids to accept that it is the quality of life and not the length of one's life that counts.

The only value I can see in more people reaching 100 years of age is the inevitable RSI it will cause members of the Windsor household.

"Death fear" might drive the patient's desire to keep going but you have to wonder what drives MDs to keep looking for ways to sustain faintly respiring human shells.

Is it ego-driven (the God complex) or is it just cold-hearted commercialism driven by the manufacturers of the life extension tools - and dressed up as compassion?
Posted by bitey, Friday, 6 March 2009 11:08:51 AM
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There is also the question of resusitation when you reach 80years or more. Should you not be able to wear a medical necklace of some kind saying you do not wish to be resusitated. Apart from the fact that they may resusitate you only to have to deal with injuries from a car accident or something. There is also the possibility that the resusitation may not be totally successful and leave you brain damaged. There needs to be some free choices allowed and some sensible thinking done on these issues. After all at 80years you've had a pretty good innings and death is a fact of life sooner of later.
Posted by sharkfin, Saturday, 7 March 2009 11:25:47 PM
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Doctors are required to prolong life as much as is reasonably possible. The operation and equipment is fairly routine.

While the author questions the ethics of a few, in reality, if they did not proceed they could be accused of failing in their duty of care. Calling on doctors to decide to withold treatment is a very slippery slope.
Posted by Democritus, Sunday, 8 March 2009 10:51:19 AM
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