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Why do they put a second pacemaker in a 96 yr old with dementia? Can we sue them for care bills... as 24 hours a day is a lot to pay for.

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Really, need more info. Like asked, was it a replacement for one that went bad? Does age make it more involved. My 60 plus friend was in and out. Has it been done and if so how did they do it without POA signing off. If not done, you need to ask the cardiologist why.
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Several years ago, when my father was 83, his heart doctor wanted to put a pacemaker in. He had no previous heart attacks. He had mild dementia at the time and we discussed it with him. He decided not to have it done as he was already disabled from a stroke 20 years ago and didn't want an artificial mechanism that would keep him alive as he became more and more disabled. Well, he is more disabled physically, but at his last physical was told that his heart was working great. Nevertheless, his thinking at the time was that there are worse things than dying of a heart attack, like living on with no quality of life while his heart ticks merrily away.
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Do you mean they replaced a pacemaker with a new one? Surely she doesn't have 2 implanted!

My husband, with dementia, insisted on having his defibrillator removed. As far as he was concerned having that device was not consistent with his DNR. He did, however, want to retain a pacemaker. He saw that as keeping him comfortable with a regular rhythm, and not as extending his life. The next time the battery had to be changed the cardiologist made this adjustment.

Have you discussed with the doctor the thinking behind this action? Are you the healthcare proxy? Was the decision discussed with you before it was implemented? Is your mother still able to make such decisions herself?

Did implanting the second pacemaker cause your mother to need 24 hour care, or was that the case before the procedure? Was she having a lot of discomfort from heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness?

We can't give you legal advice, of course, but our comments can be more relevant if we know more about this situation.
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Dear Neila,

Sorry to hear what you are going through. I know different doctors and families make different decisions. I'm sure some doctors are unethical and immoral and do it for the money they can make off the patient. If you have any doubts, I would seek out a second and third medical opinion. And try talking to an attorney about malpractice if necessary.
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