Interprofessional Case Presentation: Am I Helping My Patient Commit Assisted Suicide? A Patient's Request to Deactivate Her Cardiac Pacemaker


Presented by Virginia Boothe, MD and Rev. Amy Holtz, MDiv, BCC

Learning Objectives:

  1. Assessment and alleviation of suffering in a patient’s request for de-activation of cardiac pacemaker

  2. Community as “team” – interface of Palliative Medicine Team with family/caretakers, referring providers, and other agencies

  3. Explore ethical issues raised in a patient’s request for the de-activation of cardiac pacemaker

Virginia Boothe, MD attended Virginia Commonwealth University for her undergraduate degree. She received her medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University and completed her internal medicine internship and residency from the University of Virginia Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Boothe completed a general internal medicine fellowship from the University of Virginia. Dr. Boothe is board certified in internal medicine, hospice and palliative medicine.

Rev. Amy Holtz, M.Div., BCC completed her B.A. in Sociology and Religion at the University of Richmond in 1991, and received her Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond in 1994. Amy has served in various ministry roles for over 20 years. She began working closely with the Bon Secours Richmond Palliative Medicine team during her chaplain residency before joining the team full-time in 2013. Amy is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains and was Board Certified in 2015.

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Supportive Care Coalition