The criterion of proportionality in the activation of Left Ventricular Assist Device implants: the method of “four boxes” to analyze the pre-implant phase

doi: 10.7417/CT.2019.2109

  • S. Roggi Center for Clinical Ethics, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Department, Insubria University
  • J. Testa Center for Clinical Ethics, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Department, Insubria University; Centre for Tropical Diseases, Sacro Cuore-Don Calabria Hospital, Negrar (Verona)
  • A. Gasparetto Center for Clinical Ethics, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Department, Insubria University
  • F. Nicoli Center for Clinical Ethics, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Department, Insubria University; Clinical Ethics Service, Domus Salutis Clinic, Teresa Camplani Foundation, Brescia, Italy
  • E. Ferioli Center for Clinical Ethics, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Department, Insubria University
  • M. Picozzi Center for Clinical Ethics, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Department, Insubria University

Abstract

Background
Life-saving technologies have completely changed the normal conception of medical treatments. Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) can prolong survival for patients who are not candidates for heart transplantation. In order to analyze the pre-implantation phase, which involves a shared-decision making process before activation of the device, attention should be paid to the criterion of “proportionality” in order to properly assess the risks and benefits of implantation.


Aim
The aim of our analysis is to provide an useful tool for the assessment of LVAD proportionality during the physicians’ decision making.


Methods
The method of the “four boxes”, developed by Jonsen et al, was chosen to analyze the notion of proportionality and the other main ethical issues regarding LVAD activation in adult patients.


Results
Medical issues are not the sole factors, which influence the choice of implantation by patients. Indeed, patient preferences, his/her quality of life, and contextual features should be taken into consideration when proposing LVADs: these factors are as important as clinical issues where outcomes are concerned.


Conclusion
In order to assess the proportionality of such a device, we present, discuss and examine, in the framework of the pre-implant phase, the content of each topic treated by the “four boxes method”, that is, an essential tool for the assessment of the proportionality of the treatment for LVAD candidates

Published
2019-02-14
How to Cite
ROGGI, S. et al. The criterion of proportionality in the activation of Left Ventricular Assist Device implants: the method of “four boxes” to analyze the pre-implant phase. La Clinica Terapeutica, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 170, p. e61 - e67, feb. 2019. ISSN 1972-6007. Available at: <http://www.clinicaterapeutica.it/ojs/index.php/ClinicaTerapeutica/article/view/345>. Date accessed: 23 may 2019.