Bioethics Blogs

Downside of Life-Prolonging Technology

A great story in Health Affairs titled “A Failing Heart And The Downside Of Life-Prolonging Technology” was reprinted in the Washington Post as “The Device Kept Him Alive, But Was the Pain and Suffering Worth It?”

I especially like this excerpt”  “With very few exceptions, virtually everyone in need of an LVAD is saying yes to the therapy. When such technologies were first introduced in the late 1980s, they were reserved for patients with profound cardiogenic shock and refractory heart failure, and selection criteria focused on future transplant eligibility.”

“Since LVADs have become available as a destination therapy, there has been a dramatic expansion of the candidate population over the past 10 years. The total number of LVAD candidates is now estimated at around 250,000 to 300,000 individuals per year in the United States alone.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.