LVADs were originally intended to be "bridge" devices, keeping patients stable until heart surgery or a heart transplant could be performed. The pumps have been used more recently as long term assist devices, prolonging a patients life who would otherwise die without it.
The ethical dilemma surrounds how to proceed once a patient has had enough and wants the pump turned off or removed. Advances in medical technology, like the LVAD, have accelerated faster than our societies ability to deal with the issues they raise.
Read the Washington Post's article then share your thoughts on LVADs and the ethical issues they raise.
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