In the last decades, new technologies have improved the survival of patients affected by chronic illnesses. Among them, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has represented a viable solution for patients with advanced heart failure (HF). Even though the LVAD prolongs life expectancy, patients' vulnerability generally increases during follow up and patients' request for the device withdrawal might occur. Such a request raises some ethical concerns in that it directly hastens the patient's death. Hence, in order to assess the ethical acceptability of LVAD withdrawal, we analyse and examine an ethical argument, widely adopted in the literature, that we call the "descriptive approach", which consists in giving a definition of life-sustaining treatment to evaluate the ethical acceptability of treatment withdrawal. Focusing attention on LVAD, we show criticisms of this perspective. Finally, we assess every patient's request of LVAD withdrawal through a prescriptive approach, which finds its roots in the criterion of proportionality.

Is Left Ventricular Assist Device Deactivation Ethically Acceptable? A Study on the Euthanasia Debate

S. Roggi;M. Picozzi
2021

Abstract

In the last decades, new technologies have improved the survival of patients affected by chronic illnesses. Among them, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has represented a viable solution for patients with advanced heart failure (HF). Even though the LVAD prolongs life expectancy, patients' vulnerability generally increases during follow up and patients' request for the device withdrawal might occur. Such a request raises some ethical concerns in that it directly hastens the patient's death. Hence, in order to assess the ethical acceptability of LVAD withdrawal, we analyse and examine an ethical argument, widely adopted in the literature, that we call the "descriptive approach", which consists in giving a definition of life-sustaining treatment to evaluate the ethical acceptability of treatment withdrawal. Focusing attention on LVAD, we show criticisms of this perspective. Finally, we assess every patient's request of LVAD withdrawal through a prescriptive approach, which finds its roots in the criterion of proportionality.
Device; Left ventricular assist device; Deactivation; Euthanasia; Proportionality
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Is_Left_Ventricular_Assist_Device_Deactivation_Eth.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 579.59 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
579.59 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/2094670
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact