As he lay dying in a hospital in San Diego, a 71-year-old retired commercial fisherman was shocked 10 times by his implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), convulsing in front of his wife, 7 children, siblings, and mother. For 2 days, no medical professional intervened. The device was deactivated only at his wife’s insistence. Afterwards, she wanted to know, “Why wasn’t there a sticker on his chart? Why didn’t someone write that order?”
Article InformationCorresponding Author: Katy Butler, BA, PO Box 1505, Mill Valley, CA 94942 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: November 25, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.11125.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Additional Information: Ms Butler is the author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster; 2013.