A Stanford University panel said physicians should counsel patients about the difference between pacemakers and defibrillators and cover deactivation of the devices as part of end-of-life care. While Katy Butler said physicians were opposed to deactivating a pacemaker for her father, Air Force veteran and heart failure patient Jerry Romano said he has discontinued use of his defibrillator and knows when he is ready to deactivate his pacemaker his doctor will support his decision. Cardiologist Dr. Dipanjan Banerjee says such discussions are difficult for patients and physicians.

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