I have often wondered what happens to people's pacemakers after they die. I have been told they are given to dogs or to developing countries. You can be buried with you pacemaker but if you are being cremated it must be removed - unless you wanted to take your family with you. I often looks at the pacemaker club website. I can often give advice or support to pacing newbies. Especially those who are younger feel they are the only one. Today when I looked at the site there was a piece of research talking about pacemaker life after death.
They interviews a 100 morticians (which if we are being critical is quite a small sample) and these are the results of what they do with removed pacemakers.
44% Threw the device away as medical waste
18% Donate for human use in developing countries
10% Return them to next of kin
8% Store them in the mortuary
4% Return them to manufacturer
4% Return them to hospital where patient died
3% Donate to veterinary school for implantation into animals
24% Did not know
The research suggests you have a 'device living will' and that the pacemaker should be removed and returned to the manufacture for analysis. I do not feel I need a device living will (bit to American). So I am announcing publicly that I want my pacemaker donated to a developing country or returned to my next of kin to be added to my collection. I already have 3 of my old pacemakers,imagine how many I will have by the time I die. It could be worked in to a great piece of art!